Building a Set of Songs from the Ground Up? ‘It Was a Joyous Process’

Nickel Creek brings 'something different' to Jorgensen on March 21

The members of the bluegrass group Nickel Creek.

Nickel Creek will perform at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on March 21 (contributed photo)

Grammy-winning bluegrass and roots trio Nickel Creek will perform at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, March 21 with singer-songwriter Monica Martin.

Nickel Creek has revolutionized folk and roots music since first performing together as children at a pizza parlor in San Diego in 1989, signing to acclaimed roots label Sugar Hill Records after wowing the bluegrass circuit for a decade. Nickel Creek quickly broke through in 2000 with their Grammy-nominated, Alison Krauss-produced self-titled album, which showcased not just their instrumental virtuosity but their burgeoning songwriting prowess.

Nickel Creek, which performs in Storrs for the first time as a group, includes mandolinist Chris Thile, violinist Sara Watkins and guitarist Sean Watkins.

Thile, a MacArthur Fellow, is also a founding member of Punch Brothers, who performed at Jorgensen in 2022, and former host of “Live From Here” on National Public Radio. Sara Watkins last appeared at Jorgensen in 2019, as part of I’m With Her, a trio of musicians that included Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan. Sean Watkins has released six solo recordings and is also a member of the duo Fiction Family and the group Works Progress Administration (which includes Sara and Benmont Tench, former keyboardist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and was featured with Nickel Creek in Acoustic Guitar Magazine in 2023 that highlighted his guitar style in a lesson feature.

Sean Watkins spoke with WHUS on the Good Music show, (Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.) earlier this week about his guitar playing and how Nickel Creek has evolved its music over its 35-year collaboration.

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Listen to the interview here: