“We’re proud to have a local partner like the Community Foundation on this North Carolina- based project that will have a national audience,” said Will McIntyre, series producer and chairman of the Will & Deni McIntyre Foundation, which is based in Henderson County.
Series host Rhiannon Giddens is a native of Greensboro. A founder of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, she was named a 2017 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow for her work to increase understanding of America’s rich musical heritage. She has sung at the White House, she played Hallie Jordan on the CMT series Nashville, and she will perform a series of concerts for Carnegie Hall’s 2022-2023 season. Her opera “Omar” premiered at the 2022 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston. She also serves as artistic director of the cross-cultural music organization Silkroad, founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
The first season of My Music with Rhiannon Giddens will feature performances by, as Giddens says, “women of color who are changing the face of music.” Guest artists include Robeson County, NC native Charly Lowry as well as Joy Clark, Rissi Palmer, Allison Russell, and Adia Victoria. The season also features visits with Rhiannon’s current musical partners Francesco Turrisi and Jason Sypher and guest appearances by longtime collaborators Justin Robinson (a co-founder of the Chocolate Drops), Laurelyn Dossett, and Lalenja Harrington.
Rhiannon Giddens says “I’m so excited about this new project because it’s something my heart has been in for a very long time. I want to highlight some of the voices that have always been in American music, but have been unacknowledged or undervalued.”
Will and Deni McIntyre previously produced six seasons of David Holt's State of Music, which is currently airing on PBS affiliate stations in all fifty states. Its format, a half hour of music and conversation shot on location at places bearing significance to each featured artist, provided the template for the new series.
“We’re sharing music that has deep roots in the land and local culture of the places where we film” says director Deni McIntyre. “Rhiannon feels those connections deeply, so she’s enthusiastic about placing each episode in unique surroundings.”
Filming for the first season includes locations in Durham, Pembroke, Spindale, Tryon, and Westfield, North Carolina and in Nashville, Tennessee.
My Music with Rhiannon Giddens will premiere on PBS in May 2023.
In addition to the latest grant, the Community Foundation of Henderson County and its component Perry N. Rudnick Endowment Fund supported the production of David Holt’s State of Music since its inception through previous grants to the Will & Deni McIntyre Foundation totaling more than $100,000.
The Community Foundation of Henderson County is a nonprofit, public charity that helps people who care make lasting contributions to causes that matter by building permanent endowments and other philanthropic funds and by being strong stewards of donors’ gifts.
The Will & Deni McIntyre Foundation is a 501(c)(3), charitable nonprofit that was established in 2009 to raise the profile of the arts and educational organizations through the creation of videos, books and photography for websites and related media. It is the prime fundraising entity for My Music with Rhiannon Giddens.
Find out when you can watch My Music with Rhiannon Giddens by checking your local PBS station’s schedule. The series will also be streamed at PBS.org.
To help celebrate and preserve the traditional and modern musical heritage of Appalachia, please consider supporting the production of My Music with Rhiannon Giddens by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Will & Deni McIntyre Foundation at WillandDeni.org.