by Mike Telin
For nearly 150 years, Oberlin College and Conservatory’s Artist Recital Series has been a centerpiece in the musical offerings of Northeast Ohio. Now, after a two-year absence, the series returns with a noon performance in Finney Chapel on Tuesday, October 4 featuring musical trailblazer Rhiannon Giddens. The Grammy Award winner, MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, and Oberlin alum will be joined by multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi. Click here to find out more about Giddens. Tickets are available online.
Turrisi, himself an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, has been called a “musical alchemist” and a “musical polyglot.” In 1997 he left his native Italy to study jazz piano and early music at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where he obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Since then he has released five albums as a leader and two as co-leader with the ensembles Tarab (which blends Irish and Mediterranean traditional music) and Zahr (which celebrates the connections between southern Italian traditional music and Arabic music).
Since Turrisi teamed up with Giddens in 2018, the duo has released two albums that combine Mediterranean music with music from the African diaspora in the Americas — There Is No Other (2019) and They’re Calling Me Home (2021), which won a Grammy for best folk album.