Rhiannon Giddens

Singer, Violinist, Banjo Player, and Folk Song Researcher
Born 1977 • American Folk Music

Fast Facts

  • Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Born to a father of European-American ancestry and a mother of African-American & Native American ancestry
  • Attended North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics 
  • Studied opera at Oberlin College
  • Plays violin and banjo
  • Sings many styles of music, including African-American folk, opera, gospel, jazz, and Celtic folk music
  • Researches and revives African-American folk songs and string band tunes
  • Member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in 2011
  • Won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2017
  • Currently composing an opera (as of 2020)
  • In 2020, she was named the next Artistic Director of the Silkroad Ensemble, succeeding Yo-Yo Ma.
  • Currently has homes in Greensboro, NC; Nashville, TN; and Limerick, Ireland.