A huge hit previously at Cambridge, she is known as the lead singer, violinist, banjo player and a founding member of the Grammy-winning country, blues and old-time music band Carolina Chocolate Drops. She is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, and a 2000 graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied opera. In addition to her work with the Drops, Giddens has released two solo albums: Tomorrow Is My Turn and Freedom Highway this year.
Delighted to be taking over as guest curator, Rhiannon said: ‘I am honoured to be the next guest curator for Cambridge Folk Festival following on from the amazing Jon Boden who has done a wonderful job this year. Having played the Festival before I know how special Cambridge is and I am really excited to be contributing to the line-up next year as well as performing.’Welcoming Rhiannon Giddens’ forthcoming role at next year’s Festival, Cambridge Live Managing Director, Steve Bagnall said: ‘In the same year as the Festival’s historic twinning with America’s legendary Newport Festival, we are truly delighted that such an exciting talent as Rhiannon has accepted the role of guest curator for 2018. It has been a huge success in the hands of Jon Boden and fascinating to see the artists he has chosen to programme. We continue to find innovative new ways of developing the potential of the Festival through initiatives like our 1965 Club, the artist guest curator role and placing diversity, emerging talent and young artists at the heart of what we do.’