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Community Events

Giddens on stage at Glenn Massay Monday

Courtesy Mike Winters
Rhiannon Giddens performs at 7:30 p.m., May 4 at the Glenn Massay Theater.

PALMER — After turning heads from the Atlantic to the Pacific, Rhiannon Giddens returns to Alaska to promote her debut solo album “Tomorrow is My Turn.”

Whistling Swan Productions is bringing Giddens to Alaska for two shows, including a performance at 7:30 p.m., May 4 at the Glenn Massay Theater at Mat-Su College, Palmer. Tickets are $35.

Giddens also will perform at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at the Discovery Theatre in Anchorage.

This is Giddens’ first time performing in Alaska under her own name. But the throaty crooner also wowed Alaska audiences during her 2007 trip north with the “Carolina Chocolate Drops” — a group she helped to found — as the guest artist at the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau.

The band won a 2010 Grammy Award for its album “Genuine Negro Jig.”

The legend T-Bone Burnett who produced Giddens’ solo debut lists her along side great vocalists such as Marian Anderson, Ethel Waters, Rosetta Tharp, Odetta, Mahalia Jackson, and Nina Simone.

Perhaps it’s due to her classical training as an opera singer that Giddens seems equally comfortable belting out blues, jazz, gospel or Gaelic songs.

In addition to her work with the Chocolate Drops, Giddens is also featured on the “Basement Tapes” project with well-known performers such as Elvis Costello and members of Mumford and Sons.

On the album, she performs “Spanish Mary,” which she co-wrote the song with  Bob Dylan.

While it may be Giddens vocals range that is turning heads, she also plays banjo and fiddle on stage with the band.

Q Magazine describes  the versatility of this thirty-something mother-of-two as “breath-taking.”

Keb Mo’ and his band perform at the Massay at 7:30 p.m., June 5.

Tickets are available online at centertix.net.