This spring, the first Black Opry Residency will take place in Philadelphia, and today the five participating artists have been revealed. Some are based in Nashville but rooted elsewhere (The Kentucky Gentlemen, and Texas native Tylar Bryant); others hail from the Northeast (Boston’s Grace Givertz, Hudson Valley’ Denitia); one is from right here in Philadelphia (Samantha Rise). Spearheaded by WXPN and The Black Opry, and supported with a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the Black Opry Residency will bring the artists to Philadelphia in March for a week of creative co-collaborating, workshopping, and ultimately performing.
Announced in November 2022, WXPN’s Black Opry Residency supports and spotlights up-and-coming Black performers who make original music under the Americana umbrella, with roots in country, bluegrass, folk, blues, gospel, rock, and singer-songwriter styles. The application process was open to unsigned Black musicians over the age of 21 who have been recording and performing for at least three years. About 100 applicants were received, and the five residents were chosen by a selection committee based on the excellence of their songwriting craft, lyrics, and production, as well as consideration for the point at which they are in their careers.