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Overheard at National Geographic

154 EpisodesProduced by National GeographicWebsite

Come dive into one of the curiously delightful conversations overheard at National Geographic’s headquarters, as we follow explorers, photographers, and scientists to the edges of our big, weird, beautiful world. Hosted by Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs.


The Soul of Music: Rhiannon Giddens excavates the past

This episode is part one of The Soul of Music—Overheard’s four-part series focusing on music, exploration, and Black history. Our guest this week is two-time Grammy award winner Rhiannon Giddens, a singer, songwriter, and banjo and fiddle player. A self-described “armchair historian,” Rhiannon chats with Nat Geo Explorer and spoken-word poet Alyea Pierce about the origins of the banjo, her new opera Omar, and how she finds inspiration through history. 

For more information on this episode, visit

Want more?

Learn more about Rhiannon and her music, opera, and children’s book at her website, And you can follow her on Twitter @RhiannonGiddens

You can follow National Geographic Explorer Alyea Pierce at her instagram @alyeaspierce

Also explore: 

Listen to the National Geographic podcast Into the Depths to hear more of Alyea’s poetry and follow Explorer Tara Roberts on a journey to document sunken slave ships in the Atlantic. 

Learn about how music is used to heal the sick in Appalachia in this Nat Geo article.

If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to to subscribe today.

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