Guest Curator Rhiannon Giddens has revealed her chosen acts

Tuesday 20 March 2018
The highly acclaimed Americana pioneer has chosen an eclectic collection of talent from both sides of the Atlantic to perform at the Festival this year.
 
Peggy Seeger, Kaia Kater, Birds of Chicago, Amythyst Kiah and Yola Carter will be introduced by Rhiannon before each takes to the stage throughout the weekend to wow the Cambridge crowds.
 

“When I was asked ‘Do you want to curate the Cambridge Folk Festival?’, I remember being immediately interested. I didn’t really know what curating was at the time, but I loved the Festival so much I thought anything that would have me coming back is a really good thing."

Rhiannon Giddens
 
American folk singer Peggy Seeger needs no introduction. The legendary artist will be showcasing a long and varied career with her appearance at Cambridge Folk Festival. From her solo albums, recording and touring with her family including her late half-brother Pete Seeger, to song writing with her late husband Ewan MacColl, Peggy is arguably the most powerful woman in folk.
 
Homegrown Americana singer-songwriter and force of nature, Yola Carter brings together her diverse influences of 60’s country, Stax-era soul and gospel. After 15 years as a writer, producer and featured vocalist with dance and pop artists such as Massive Attack, Duke Dumont, Katy Perry and Chase & Status, she embarked on the latest chapter of her career as a solo Americana artist at the start of 2016, rapidly attracting critical acclaim. She was awarded ‘UK Artist of the Year’ at the AMA UK Awards last year. 
 
One of the youngest performers in the Canadian old-time and folk communities, 22 year-old Kaia Kater proves that banjos aren’t just for hillbillies as she takes the instrument to new heights. She plays the banjo, dances, sings and has her own unique take on Appalachian and Canadian folk music. Kaia is a diverse traditionalist, having quickly gained attention as one of the most promising young performers in the North American folk world.
 
Since teaming up as Birds of Chicago in 2012, Allison Russell and JT Nero have developed a fervent following thanks to their dedicated touring schedule. Performing around 200 nights a year with their “near-perfect Americana”, they tap into a world of Americana, Roots and Rock n’ Roll Poetry sure to be a hit with the Cambridge audience this summer.  
 
Amythyst Kiah is described as a ‘Southern Gothic’ alt-country blues singer/songwriter from Tennessee, whose stage presence and powerful vocals echo her eclectic influences spanning decades. Drawing heavily on old time music (Mississippi Sheiks, Son House, Jimmie Rodgers, Ola Belle Reed, Carter Family), inspired by strong R&B and country music vocalists from the '50s-'70s (Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn) and influenced by contemporary artists with powerful vocal integrity (Adele, Florence and the Machine), Amythyst Kiah is not to be missed.
 
These acts join a stellar line-up that already includes First Aid Kit, Patti Smith and John Prine.
 

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