Under the leadership of 2023 Pulitzer Prize winner, the dynamic multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens, the Grammy-winning, genre-defying Silkroad Ensemble embarks on a new initiative that illuminates the impact of under-recognized voices in America’s expansion west. The project explores the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad through the contributions of African American, Chinese, Irish, Indigenous, and other communities, their cultures, and their music. Chinese traditional instruments like the guzheng, pipa, erhu, and qinqin are contrasted with the fiddle, bones, tambo, and banjo of Black musical traditions, and their Indigenous and Celtic counterparts. New compositions and commissions weave these disparate traditions together to tell a new version of the American story. As Giddens told the New York Times, “Silkroad has people from all over, and that’s what makes it such a great group to represent the American story, because that’s what the American story is. We are world music.”
Join us for a pre-performance panel at 6:30pm, and a post-performance community conversation.