The Mandolin Magic of Sarah Jarosz

The Mandolin Magic of Sarah Jarosz
Sarah Jarosz

Photograph by Scott Simontacchi

She must have been the cutest mandolin player ever to jam in a Texas catfish restaurant named Charlie’s. Sarah Jarosz was 10 years old and she was on her way, a pint-sized future star in bluegrass and Americana. Now 22, she has become a formidable songwriter.

Jarosz has played the Grand Ole Opry, Conan, Austin City Limits. She just graduated from the New England Conservatory and released her third album, Build Me Up From Bones, which earned two Grammy noms. In June she performs at the 20th Century Theatre, and after that, it’s a UK tour with her trio, then back to the U.S. with performances opening for Nickel Creek.

Speaking from her “original home” (her parents’ house in Wimberley, Texas), Jarosz, who now lives in Manhattan, explains the origins of one particularly powerful new song, “Fuel the Fire”: “A lot of it,” she says, “is inspired by being a young woman in the music business and trying to make a career for myself at an early age and all the challenges you face in a business that’s often controlled by men. I’ve worked really hard to be a confident musician.” Picking the banjo, telling it, this artist is on fire. Fuel provided.

Sarah Jarosz brings her mandolin to the 20th Century Theatre in Oakley on June 26, (513) 731-8000,

Originally published in the June 2014 Issue

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