Rhiannon Giddens, Music Director for this weekend's Ojai Music Festival in California, takes part in a number of performances streaming live from Ojai at ojaifestival.org. Laurie Anderson is in Madrid and London. Timo Andres performs Chopin and Joplin in Brooklyn. Emmylou Harris is in Denver with Dwight Yoakam. Hurray for the Riff Raff gives theatrical performance of 2017's The Navigator at Joe’s Pub in NYC. Cécile McLorin Salvant is in Hamburg. Sarah Kirkland Snider's Mass for the Endangered gets West Coast premiere in Portland.
Rhiannon Giddens, the Music Director for the 2023 Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California, takes part in a number of performances at the festival, which began yesterday and runs through Sunday night. Several of the weekend events stream live at ojaifestival.org, including tonight’s intimate performance with Francesco Turrisi at the Libbey Bowl stage, with music ranging from the Baroque to Appalachian ballads and traditional Black American songs.
On Saturday, Giddens performs the role of Julie in the world premiere of Omar’s Journey, an Ojai-commissioned work for voices and chamber ensemble drawn from Omar, her Pulitzer Prize–winning opera with Michael Abels. The event can be seen in the festival live stream. Giddens released her own recording of “Julie’s Aria," from the opera, with Francesco Turrisi and guitarist Bill Frisell, ahead of the world premiere of Omar last year.
On Sunday morning, she joins Turrisi, Attacca Quartet, pipa player and frequent Kronos Quartet collaborator Wu Man, kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor, and therobo player Joshua Stauffer for Early Music, a Turrisi-curated program of music ranging from thousand-year-old works for solo pipa, to Renaissance consort music, from ancient Persian melodies to modal jazz improvisations. This event will stream live as well.
Later that afternoon, Giddens hosts a free family event at Libbey Park, reading from and performing music based on her children’s book, Build A House. Giddens wrote the title song for Juneteenth in 2020 and performs it on a recording with Yo-Yo Ma and Francesco Turrisi released last fall.
She returns to Libbey Bowl for the festival’s finale event, Strings Attached, Sunday evening, which also streams live. For this jam session bringing together bowed and plucked string instruments from the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, Giddens is joined again by Turrisi, Wu, and Kalhor, as well as violinist Amy Schroeder, kora player Seckou Keita, and Giddens’ fellow Caroline Chocolate Drops alum fiddler Justin Robinson.
Rhiannon Giddens’ new album, You’re the One—her third solo studio album and first of all original songs—is out August 18 on Nonesuch Records.
Laurie Anderson, who celebrated a birthday this week, continues her Let X=X European tour, named after the track on her 1982 debut album, Big Science, with the band Sex Mob—Steven Bernstein, Briggan Krauss, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen, and Doug Wieselman—at Ciudad del Rock in Madrid on Saturday, as part of Primavera Sound, and Barbican Hall in London on Sunday. Big Science was reissued on vinyl for the first time in thirty years in 2021. “It's worth considering how readily Big Science stands alone, untethered from time and place,” says Uncut. “And how, over the course of its near-40-year existence, it has been a record that has come to acquire new resonance with each generation, now standing as one of the most influential albums of the past four decades.”
Composer and pianist Timo Andres brings a program of Chopin Mazurkas and Joplin Piano Rags to Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn for two sets on Saturday, as part of Sono Fest!, curated by pianist Ethan Iverson. Joshua Rifkin's Nonesuch recordings of the Joplin rags in the early 1970s, which ignited a national passion for ragtime jazz and "created, almost alone, the Scott Joplin revival," per New York magazine, can be heard here.
Emmylou Harris and Dwight Yoakam share a bill at the Levitt Pavilion in Denver on Sunday and again at the Sandy Amphitheater outside Salt Lake City on Monday. Harris’s album Stumble Into Grace, which turns 20 this year, was released on vinyl for the first time last month in a limited cream-colored vinyl edition. On this, her second album of original material, following her Nonesuch debut album, Red Dirt Girl, Harris is joined by guests like Linda Ronstadt, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Gillian Welch, Jane Siberry, Buddy Miller, Daniel Lanois, and Malcolm Burn, who produced the record. Newsweek declared: “Her stellar voice takes on new depth when tied to songs this personal.”
Hurray for the Riff Raff (aka Alynda Segarra) unveils a theatrical performance of their 2017 album, The Navigator, to a sold-out Joe’s Pub in New York City tonight and Saturday. The production, commissioned by Joe's Pub as part of its New York Voices program, incorporates music from the album with a script (based on the songs) by playwright Julian Jiménez. A digital deluxe version of Hurray for the Riff Raff’s acclaimed 2022 Nonesuch Records debut, LIFE ON EARTH, was released earlier this year.
Cécile McLorin Salvant, touring Europe with music from her new album, Mélusine, and more, performs at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg, Germany, tonight, as part of the Elbjazz Festival. She concludes her tour at Weimarhallen Park in Germany on Monday, before heading to Asia later this month for dates in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore. “Salvant has already far transcended her early status as her generation’s most imaginative and thrilling jazz interpreter,” says SPIN, naming Mélusine one of The Best Albums of 2023 (So Far). Her 2022 Nonesuch debut album, Ghost Song, recently won the Deutscher Jazzpreis in Germany for International Vocal Album.
Sarah Kirkland Snider's Mass for the Endangered receives its West Coast premiere by the Resonance Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Katherine FitzGibbon, with guest ensemble Fear No Music and visuals by CandyStations (aka Deborah Johnson), at Agnes Flanagan Chapel in Portland, Oregon, tonight. The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Earth’s Protection arts and music festival. Mass for the Endangered is a celebration of, and an elegy for, the natural world—animals, plants, insects, the planet itself—an appeal for greater awareness, urgency, and action. Originally commissioned by Trinity Church Wall Street, the first recording, released on New Amsterdam / Nonesuch Records in 2020, features the English vocal ensemble Gallicantus conducted by Gabriel Crouch. CandyStations created the music videos for all of the tracks on the album, which you can watch here.