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Trained as an opera singer, Rhiannon Giddens was a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the acclaimed folk group.

With the Chocolate Drops and as a solo artist, a virtuoso fiddler and banjo player with a soulful voice, she has delved into African-American and old-time traditions.

On Tuesday, Silkroad, the cross-cultural music organization created by Yo-Yo Ma in 1998, announced that Ms. Giddens would be its next artistic director.

“I’ve never been interested in ‘Hey, this is me, I’m singing a song,’” Ms. Giddens, 43, said by phone from her home in Ireland.

“I’m more: This is the message I’m trying to transmit, if me singing it will get it out there.

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