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Schaefer Center to Open Series with Singer/Songwriter Rhiannon Giddens Thursday

Rhiannon Giddens

Appalachian State University’s performance series, “The Schaefer Center Presents,” will kick off with singer/songwriter, violinist and banjo player Rhiannon Giddens, founding member of regional group Carolina Chocolate Drops, on Thursday, September 24, 7 p.m. at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for faculty/staff and retired faculty/staff and $15 for students. For more information, call the Schaefer Center Box Office at 800-841-ARTS (2787) or 828-262-4046, or visit theschaefercenter.org.

About Rhiannon Giddens

In February 2015, Rhiannon Giddens released her debut solo album “Tomorrow is My Turn” on Nonesuch Records to widespread critical acclaim.  Produced by T. Bone Burnett, the record includes tunes made famous by Patsy Cline, Odetta, Dolly Patron, and Nina Simone.  Rhiannon Giddens is known for her success as the founding front woman of the African American country, blues and old-time music band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, whose 2010 album “Genuine Negro Jig” earned the group a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. The Greensboro native is also a founding member of the super group New Basement Tapes, a studio collaboration celebrating the discovery of never-seen Bob Dylan lyrics from his legendary 1967 recordings known as the Basement Tapes.

Giddens’ passion for exploring the musical traditions of Appalachia serves as a driving force in her music. After studying opera at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio she relocated back to North Carolina, where she became immersed in the rural musical traditions of the state’s western region and later met future band mates Justin Robinson and Dom Flemons at the 2005 Black Banjo Gathering in Boone. The three young musicians started visiting fiddler Joe Thompson every week, and from him learned much of an early repertoire that was all but forgotten. They formed the Carolina Chocolate Drops as a tribute to Joe Thompson, whose influence shaped the group’s sounds, and inspired them to revive the traditions of African American string-band music.

“This woman can sing anything.”


“She can summon the power of a field holler, Celtic quavers, girlish innocence, bluesy sensuality, gospel exaltation or the pain of slavery. She can sing velvety, long-breathed phrases or rasp and yip like a singer from the backwoods long ago. For all her technical control, her voice is a perpetually soulful marvel.”

– Jon Pareles, The New York Times

“Rhiannon Giddens has become one of the most promising voices in American roots music.”

– Rolling Stone

“Patsy Cline, Allison Krauss, and now…Rhiannon Giddens.”

-The Daily Beast

The Schaefer Center Presents: 2015-16 Season

For videos, images, and detailed information about each performance, visit www.theschaefercenter.org

Lakota Sioux Indian Dance Theatre

Educating, entertaining and enlightening audiences all over the world, while preserving and honoring a living history and oral tradition that is central to American Indian society

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


An Evening with David Sedaris

NPR humorist and best-selling author of Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls

Friday, October 23, 2015

Jason Isbell

American singer-songwriter and guitarist best known for his solo career and as a former member of the Drive-By Truckers

Saturday, November 7, 2015

American Shakespeare Center: Julius Caesar

Profoundly moving, breathtaking, and deeply human…a thrill ride of betrayal, violence, and perhaps most surprisingly – love

January 29, 2016

American Shakespeare Center: Henry V

The story of England’s hero-king and the greatest upset in European military history; Shakespeare’s finale to his great history plays

January 30, 2016

Dr. John and the Nite Trippers

Unique and authentic New Orleans, boogie-woogie jazz, praised for its funky, bluesy influence on rock

Saturday, February 13, 2016

CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater

Choreography that fuses Salsa, Afro-Cuban, and contemporary urban and abstract dance theater, to create an invigorating blend of physically intense and politically astute performance work

Friday, April 22, 2016



Tickets are on sale at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts box office and online at http://theschaefercenter.org.  The Office of Arts & Cultural Programs is committed to affordable ticket prices, with prices for all events ranging from $15-$40.  A faculty/staff and retired faculty/staff discount is available when tickets are purchased over the phone or at the box office. To purchase tickets, call or visit the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts Box Office at 828-262-4046 or go online at http://theschaefercenter.org.


About “The Schaefer Center Presents”

“The Schaefer Center Presents” is a series offering students, faculty, staff and the community a diverse array of music, theatre and dance designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a “window on the world” through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. For more information, visit http://theschaefercenter.org.