A classy singer songwriter, Andrew Bird uses his classical background and love of jazz to explore genres as diverse as ragtime swing, indie rock and Americana pop - while delivering a uniquely elegant and yearning style. Born and raised in Chicago, he started learning classical violin at four and graduated from Chicago's Northwestern University with a degree in music, but turned his back on a career as an orchestra player to perform in small bars with fusion bands Squirrel Nut And The Zippers and Kevin O'Donnell's Quality Six. As a bandleader in his own right, his early albums Music Of Hair (1996), Thrills (1997) and Oh! The Grandeur (1998) were led by his violin playing and interest in 1920s jazz and blues, but he turned towards a more conventional indie rock sound on breakthrough solo album Armchair Apocrypha (2007). Known for their sweet melodies, albums Noble Beast (2009) and Break It Yourself (2012) brought Bird mainstream success, reaching Number 10 and Number 12 in the US charts, while the lush, grandiose, cinematic quality of his work is captured on the critically acclaimed tenth studio album Hands Of Glory (2012).