Chris Thile: Widely regarded as one of the most interesting and inventive musicians of his generation, Chris Thile has changed the mandolin forever, elevating it from its origins as a relatively simple folk and bluegrass instrument to the sophistication and brilliance of the finest jazz improvisation and classical performance.
Thile’s newest venture, Punch Brothers, is already playing to sold-out crowds around the world. Comprised of five young and fiercely talented musicians—Chris Thile (mandolin), Gabe Witcher (fiddle), Chris Eldridge (guitar), Noam Pikelny (banjo), and Paul Kowert (bass)—the band has captured the attention of music lovers across genres. In February 2008, they released their Nonesuch Records debut Punch featuring Thile’s ambitious four-movement chamber suite The Blind Leaving the Blind, which was premiered at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall as part of John Adams’ In Your Ear Festival in 2007. The album received critical acclaim around the world from authorities and sources on many genres. The group’s first album, How to Grow a Woman from the Ground, was also widely praised and received a Grammy® Award nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance for the song “The Eleventh Reel.”