Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Event Slides Per Node 1415

  • A woman of color with a slight streak of a coordinating hue in her hair rests her chin in her left hand and her right hand on her knee that is bent closer to her body.

Rhiannon Giddens
special guest: Charly Lowry

7:30 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Since co-founding the Carolina Chocolate Drops in 2005, Rhiannon Giddens has long since branched out on her own. NPR named her one of its “25 Most Influential Women Musicians of the 21st Century,” and American Songwriter called her “one of the most important musical minds currently walking the planet.”

The eclectic folk music artist is an opera-trained, two-time Grammy Award-winning singer; a reproduction instrumentalist; a MacArthur “Genius” grant recipient; the artistic director of Silkroad; and a prize-winning composer of opera, ballet, and film.

Giddens centers her work around advocating an understanding of the country’s musical origins by celebrating people whose contributions to American musical history have been overlooked or erased.

Because she explores other creative possibilities just as actively as she has American musical history, her links to American historic and pop culture are broad. She wrote the 2023 Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Omar with film composer Michael Abels (Get OutUsNope). With her partner Francesco Turrisi, she wrote and performed the music for Black Lucy and the Bard, which was recorded for PBS’ Great Performances. She also had a recurring role in the ABC hit drama Nashville and was featured in Ken Burns’ Country Music series, also on PBS.

She has also published children’s books; created music for a video game; and hosts her own show on PBS, My Music with Rhiannon Giddens.

“I’ve been able to create a lot of different things around stories that are difficult to tell and managed to get them done in a way that’s gotten noticed,” Giddens says.

She released You’re the One, her first all-originals collection, on Nonesuch Records in August.

Charly Lowry

Charly Lowry, a musical powerhouse from Pembroke, North Carolina, is proud to be an indigenous woman belonging to the Lumbee and Tuscarora tribes. She celebrates the diversity of her hometown swamps in all aspects of her life. While she may be familiar to some from her success as a semi-finalist on “American Idol,” she has maintained close ties to her Native American roots and culture.

Among her community, native women are traditionally barred from the hand drum, singing behind the men’s drum and/or dancing instead. Lowry defies that norm, following in the footsteps of her mentor Pura Fé. She chooses to battle with her songs, storytelling, hand drum, and guitar to deliver performances that not only tell the plight of her people but all who face oppression.


American Sign Language interpretation will be provided for this performance. Contact the Arts Ticket Center via email at artstix@psu.edu or by calling 814-863‑0255 to discuss ASL seating preferences.

ticketmaster.com is a resale marketplace. Ticket prices may be above or below face value.

Adult $59
University Park Student $5
18 and Younger $47

corporate sponsor
Penn Highlands Health

individual sponsor
Patricia Best and Thomas Ray

support provided by
Sidney and Helen S. Friedman Endowment
Meghan R. Mason Program Endowment

support for accessibility services provided by
William E. McTurk Endowment for Program Support
Gerald B. M. Stein Memorial Endowment

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

National Endowment for the Arts. Visit arts.gov.

A grant from the Penn State Student Fee Board makes Penn State student prices possible.

Artist Websites: