Duke Performances

The Rosetta Circle
with Tift Merritt and Friends

Friday, April 21, 2023 | 8:00 pm

Rubenstein Arts Center | von der Heyden Studio Theater

The Rosetta Circle is a new project led by Raleigh-based folk luminary Tift Merritt that builds on the work of pioneering feminist jazz historian Rosetta Reitz, who created a record label dedicated to the foremothers of early jazz and blues.

Merritt has released seven celebrated studio albums including 2004’s Grammy-nominated Tambourine. Merritt was hailed by as a “wonderful kind of musical veteran” in NPR’s review of her latest record, 2017’s Stitch of the World, which the outlet said “carefully collects contradictions that trail behind disillusionment.”

With the Rosetta Circle, Merritt hopes to establish an ongoing oral storytelling project rooted in the work of Rietz and the unsung, trailblazing women she uplifted via Rosetta Records — many recordings of which are stored in the Duke University Libraries’ archives. Inspired by archival ethics of care and the idea of a singing circle as a collective of care, the aim of the Rosetta Circle is to bring together a small group of roughly a half-dozen women for weeklong sessions of “writing, singing and communion,” in the hopes of creating “not only a loving noise but a loving path forward which upholds our values.”

Tift Merritt - Full Session - 1/11/2017 - Paste Studios - New York, NY

"the bearer of a proud tradition of distaff country soul that reaches back to artists like Dusty Springfield and Bobbie Gentry.”

The New Yorker