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Hop on Rhiannon Giddens’ Freedom Highway Tour at UCSB

Singer/instrumentalist's album 'Tomorrow Is My Turn' was nominated for a Grammy Award

Rhiannon Giddens will perform at UCSB on Oct. 26.
Rhiannon Giddens will perform at UCSB on Oct. 26. (Tanya Rosen-Jones)

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Americana singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens on The Freedom Highway Tour at 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 26, at UCSB Campbell Hall.


Co-founder of the Grammy Award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens brings audiences to their feet with her prodigious voice and fierce spirit.

Her solo debut album Tomorrow Is My Turn, which was nominated for a Grammy Award, blends American musical genres like gospel, jazz, blues and country. Giddens’ follow-up album, Freedom Highway, offers “beauty and gravitas” delivered by her “perfectly ornate soprano,” says

Known for playing banjo and fiddle in Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens began gaining recognition as a solo artist when she stole the show at the T Bone Burnett-produced Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City’s Town Hall in 2013.

Freedom Highway, released on Feb. 24, includes nine original songs Giddens wrote or co-wrote along with a traditional song and two civil rights-era songs, “Birmingham Sunday” and Staple Singers’ well-known “Freedom Highway,” from which the album takes its name.

Giddens’ recent televised performances include The Late Show, Austin City Limits, Later ... with Jools Holland and both CBS Saturday and Sunday Morning, among other media appearances.

She performed for President Obama and the first lady on a White House Tribute to Gospel, along with Aretha Franklin and Emmylou Harris; the program was televised on PBS.

Giddens' played duet with country superstar Eric Church on his anti-racism song “Kill a Word,” which ranked top 15 on country radio. The two have performed the song on The Tonight Show and the CMA Awards, among other programs.

Giddens received the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Singer of the Year and has won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Bluegrass and Banjo in 2016.
Giddens, who studied opera at Oberlin College, made her acting debut with a recurring role on the recently revived TV drama Nashville, playing the role of Hanna Lee “Hallie” Jordan, a young social worker with the voice of an angel.
Giddens performance is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures. Event sponsor: Barrie Bergman. Media sponsor: KCBX 89.5 FM Santa Barbara.
Tickets are $25-$38 for the general public, $15 for UCSB students with valid student ID. For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures, 893-3535 or visit

— Caitlin O’Hara for UCSB Arts & Lectures.


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