Americana powerhouse Rhiannon Giddens to make Penn State debut March 19

‘American Idol’ semifinalist Charly Lowry will open the performance in Eisenhower Auditorium

A woman rests her chin in her left hand and her right on her bent knee.
Rhiannon Giddens

UNIVERSITY PARK — Rhiannon Giddens, “heralded as a luminary in the world of Americana” per American Songwriter magazine, will make her Penn State debut with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Tickets are $59 for an adult, $5 for a University Park student, and $47 for a person 18 and younger and are available for purchase online. Tickets are also available by calling 814-863-0255 or in person, weekdays 10 a.m.–4 p.m., at Eisenhower Auditorium.

Visit Rhiannon Giddens online for more information.

Described by Pitchfork magazine as “fearless and so ravenous” in her musical exploration, Giddens added her brand of folk music to just about every field imaginable. She’s a two-time Grammy Award-winning singer and instrumentalist; MacArthur “Genius” grant recipient; and composer of opera, ballet and film. With 1858 replica minstrel banjo in hand, she wrote the opera “Omar,” and she wrote and performed music 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.

Most recently she was a featured banjo and viola musician on Beyonce’s new song “Texas Hold ‘Em.”

Her third solo studio album, “You’re the One,” is her first album of all originals.

“I hope that people just hear American music,” Giddens said of the album. “Blues, jazz, Cajun, country, gospel and rock — it’s all there. I like to be where it meets organically.”

Watch her perform “You’re the One.”

Charly Lowry, familiar to some from her success as a semi-finalist on “American Idol,” has maintained close ties to her Native American roots and culture. She celebrates the diversity of her hometown North Carolina swamps in all aspects of her life. 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.

“I’ve always been a believer that as an artist, we are vessels. I feel like I’m a vessel to channel messages and to share those messages with the world,” Lowry said in an interview with WUNC.

A woman closes her eyes and sings.

“I’ve always been a believer that as an artist, we are vessels. I feel like I’m a vessel to channel messages and to share those messages with the world,” Charly Lowry said in an interview with WUNC.

Credit: Photo provided


The Center for the Performing Arts Eisenhower Auditorium is a KultureCity-certified sensory-sensitivity inclusive venue. Sensory inclusivity ensures that audiences of all levels of sensory needs are welcome and provided accommodations to attend an event in the building.

Prior to arriving for an event at Eisenhower, families and individuals can download the free KultureCity app for Android smartphone or iPhone. The app provides information on the available sensory features and where to access them, as well as the pre-visit social story.

Visit KultureCity online for more information.

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


Penn Highlands Healthcare is a corporate sponsor.

Individual sponsor is Patricia Best and Thomas Ray.

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

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

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

Find the Center for the Performing Arts on Facebook and Instagram.