Grammy Nominated Singer-Songwriter To Perform at Tech

SOCORRO, N.M. August 27, 2014 – Kicking off the 2014-2015 Performing Arts Series (PAS) season at New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center on Friday, Sept. 12, is Grammy nominee singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz, accompanied by the two stellar musicians who together comprise a trio.

In addition, Aoife O’Donovan, singer-songwriter and lead singer of the band Crooked Still, will open the concert, scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.


Sarah Jarosz will perform at Macey Center on Friday, September 12. 


Jarosz, an Austin, Texas native, will perform selections from her 2013 album, “Build Me Up from Bones,” which was nominated for Best Folk Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards; its title track was nominated for Best American Roots Song.

 “The first time I saw Sarah perform, I was blown away,” said longtime PAS Director Ronna Kalish. “She is such an incredibly talented individual, from the songs she writes to the many instruments she plays, which is amazing for such a young performer.”

Indeed, the multi-talented performer has received critical praise for her proficiency on the mandolin, guitar and banjo, and has stacked up a growing number of accolades. Jarosz’s song, “Mansinneedof,” from her debut albumSong Up In Her Head, was nominated for an earlier Grammy.

With “Build Me Up from Bones,” Jarosz, now 23, has graduated in every sense of the word. The album came to fruition as she finished college at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and Bones incorporates the many lessons she learned there as she explored other artistic realms.

 “I feel like I’ve grown as a person, especially in these last few years,” Jarosz is quoted as saying. “I latched onto music as a child, and it became my main way of expressing myself. But through college, I got into other creative outlets: art, painting and poetry. It helped me to come back to music in a deeper way, to follow deeper trails and meanings and feelings,” she said.

Once described as Gillian Welch’s “long-lost daughter” by Rolling Stone, Jarosz’s music fits comfortably where contemporary folk, Americana and roots music intersect. She tours with the two talented musicians who complete the trio – Alex Hargreaves (fiddle) and Nathaniel Smith (cello), playing for fans of acoustic, folk, Americana, bluegrass and singer-songwriter throughout the US and the UK. Hargreaves and Smith have a substantial presence on Build Me Up from Bones – the trio sound is the basis for a good part of the album.

Here is what Jarosz had to say about Bones: “It’s the truest representation of my music at this point. I wanted to create a rollercoaster of different sounds, emotions and feelings, and not one even line.

 “It has rocking numbers, and it also features the trio I play with,” she continued. “It incorporates those guys more. It feels true to me: unique and new.”

Kalish says the same thing about Sarah Jarosz, especially after having just seen her live performance at Folks Fest in Lyons, CO, one of many festivals Sarah is playing this summer.

 “Sarah’s songs are written such that listeners can personalize them to suit themselves, even as the song was her own personal creation,” Kalish said. “It’s also to her credit that Sarah can cover songs by artists with loyal followings, and make them her own.”

For example, Jarosz covers a version of harpist Joanna Newsom’s song, “The Book of Right-On,” which retains the original’s folk funkiness, but she goes a step further by giving the song what some have called “a winsome honey-gilded vocal to pine for.”

As for taking on the legendary music icon Bob Dylan, which Jarosz did on her 2011 disc, “Follow Me Down,” Jarosz didn’t expect she’d do it again. But a backstage jam session with cellist Smith and fiddler Hargreaves proved, indeed, “A Simple Twist of Fate.”

 “We just kind of played that song for ourselves, not even thinking we were going to work it up, and it happened so naturally, we said, ‘Man, that felt good,” Jarosz said.

And Kalish feels good, too.

 “This is an exciting time of year for all of us at PAS,” Kalish said. “The students have returned to campus, there’s a hint of fall in the air, and we’re beginning an entirely new performing arts year.

 “Again, we are grateful to all our sponsors and supporters,” said Kalish, who has earned a reputation as the female Ed Sullivan of the Rio Grande Valley for her commitment to the performing arts and to PAS – and for her hosting duties as emcee.

Sponsors for Sarah Jarosz are El Defensor Chieftain, Blue Corn Music, Bodega Burger Co. and Lounge, KUNM-FM and Best Western.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and $8 for youth, and are available at the Cashier’s Office (second floor of Fidel Center), Brownbilt Shoes and Western Wear, Burrito Tyme Drive-up or at the door.       

–NMT –

By Valerie Kimble/New Mexico Tech