folk & world

Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi

Part of EFG London Jazz Festival

Music that flows across continents: there is no Other is a collaborative album from the Grammy Award-winning singer, banjo and fiddle player and the Italian multi-instrumentalist.

With a voice that can’t be ignored, Rhiannon Giddens sings out the soul of America through gospel, jazz, blues and country with a devastating emotional range.

When Giddens met pianist, percussionist and ‘musical alchemist’ (Irish Times) Francesco Turrisi, they found that her reclaimed 19th century American minstrel banjo tunes and his traditional Sicilian tambourine rhythms fit naturally together.

They soon discovered why – their respective roots coexisted in the past. Pictures of early minstrel bands all represent banjo and tambourine together.

Rhiannon Giddens has invited jazz artist Bumi Thomas to join her in this concert after hearing of Thomas’ legal battle with the Home Office and threatened deportation from Britain, despite being born in Glasgow and having lived in the United Kingdom for most of her life. After months of trauma and uncertainty, Thomas won her appeal and is currently free to remain in the country.

there is no Other, is at once a condemnation of ‘othering’ and a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience.

Previously winning accolades as leader of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens made her solo debut with Grammy Award-nominated album Tomorrow Is My Turn, one of the most highly praised releases of 2015.

The Guardian called Tomorrow Is My Turn a 'solo debut of phenomenal vocal power, effortlessly jumping between gospel holler, tender folk song, and lachrymose country ballad.'

Giddens went on to win the BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year Award along with the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, and was inducted into The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

Her next solo album Freedom Highway has gone on to receive International Folk Music Album of the Year Award and Songlines Music Americas Awards.

Giddens has performed for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and appeared on The Late Show and Later…with Jools Holland.

For an album recorded in only five days, it wallops with impact. Giddens is going supernova, and it’s a blistering thing *****
The Guardian
This is acoustic roots music at its most glorious, and Giddens is fast becoming the genre’s brightest star in the firmament ****
Her voice is a perpetually soulful marvel
New York Times

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Royal Festival Hall


£25 - £39.50
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£25, £39.50


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