Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winning American singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens is a headline act for Gate To Southwell Festival
Two-time Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winning American singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens has been confirmed as one of the headline acts for next year’s Gate To Southwell Festival.
The long-established festival, which attracts a host of local, national and international acts, takes place at Kirklington from July4-7.
Festival director Mike Kirrage said the capture of headliner Rhiannon was an absolute coup.
He said: “Without doubt one of the most important roots artists of her generation and the most significant booking we’ve ever made.”
“We’ve tried in the past to book Rhiannon but with her being based in Ireland and most of her band in America the opportunities to unite them in the UK are rare.”
Rhiannon has had an illustrious career in folk and roots music and, at 46, is at the peak of her powers.
A singer, fiddler and banjo player she was a founding member of the country blues and old-time music band The Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Their 2010 album ‘Genuine Negro Jig’ won her first Grammy, and her second came last year for best folk album, They’re Calling Me Home.
Her work celebrates her multi-racial heritage (European father and African American/Native American mother) and the influential magazine American Songwriter has called her “one of the most important musical minds walking on the planet”.
She will arrive in Southwell - currently her only confirmed UK date - after a short European tour, travelling direct from Denmark’s major Roskilde Festival.
She will bring with her an all-star six piece band starring her partner, the acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and jazz musician Francesco Turrisi, and also the legendary four- times Grammy award-winning fiddler and banjo player Dirk Powell, who’s worked with everybody from Joan Baez to Eric Clapton.
“I saw Rhiannon ten years ago at Shrewsbury Folk Festival when she was part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops,” recalls Mike Kirrage.
“The band were brilliant, but Rhiannon stood out and was clearly destined for great things. The most versatile performer I’ve ever seen, exemplary skills on banjo and fiddle, a voice to die for and a fantastic stage presence that oozed class. Not to mention her barefoot flatfooting that had the audience in raptures.”
Rhiannon Giddens is one of the first headliners to be announced for the 2024 GTSF event, which will feature high-calibre artists from all over the planet, including the Australian duo Charm Of Finches, one of Scotland’s most iconic and respected bands Manran, and The Fugitives, a four-part vocal acoustic line-up from Canada.
Tickets are already selling fast via gtsf.uk
As always, the festival will feature music across multiple stages as well as workshops, food and drink, stalls and children’s entertainment.