Chris Thile

A modern master of the mandolin and widely regarded as the world's greatest exponent of the instrument, Chris Thile worked his way through traditional American folk, country and bluegrass tunes and made his name as part of the great trio Nickel Creek, before taking an unusual turn and delving into the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach. Born into a family of musicians, grew up listening to folk and jazz records and heard classical music on public radio stations. From an early age he attended, with his family, a weekly bluegrass night at a local pizza restaurant in Carlsband, California, where Thile was inspired to take up the mandolin at four-years-old and started playing in a kids group with Sara and Sean Watkins. The group eventually evolved into Nickel Creek, and they went on to become leading lights on the US country and folk scenes and won a Grammy Award for their 2002 album 'This Side'. Along the way Thile also regularly released solo records, starting with 'Leading Off' in 1994 when he was just 13, and was part of the Bill Monroe tribute album 'True Life Blues', which won a Grammy in 1997. After graduating from Murray State University in Kentucky, his acclaimed solo albums 'Deceiver' and 'How to Grow a Woman from the Ground' reached number two and number three respectively on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts and his trademark style conjured rootsy Americana fantasies with well-crafted traditional pop songs. In 2007 he formed a new bluegrass band - originally called the Infamous Stringdusters, then the Tensions Mountain Boys, then Punch Brothers, with other musicians including Gabe Witcher on fiddle, Chris Eldridge on guitar and Noam Pikelny on banjo, releasing a series of well-received albums, including 'Punch' (2008), 'Antifogmatic' (2010), 'Who's Feeling Young Now?' (2012) and 'The Phosphorescent Blues' (2015). His restless musical explorations and eclectic span of interests led him to write a classical concerto in 2009 and he further experimented with Baroque music when he collaborated with cellist Yo-Yo Ma on 'The Great Rodeo' and translated the works of German composer Bach onto his trusty mandolin on 2013 album 'Bach: Sonatas and Partitas Vol. 1'. In more recent times he re-united with Nickel Creek for sixth album 'Dotted Line' and collaborated on studio recordings with bass player Edgar Meyer and jazz pianist Brad Mehldau.

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