A trio of renowned voices, I’m With Her, are coming to The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC on September 30, 2018. I’m With Her blends the vocals and instrumental arrangements of Sara Watkins (fiddle), Sarah Jarosz (mandolin), and Aoife O’Donovan (guitar) on their first Canadian performance on the Overland Tour celebrating the release of their debut album See You Around.
“I have followed these artists individually for a number of years and was delighted — along with the rest of the folk music world — when they joined forces to create I’m With Her,” says Joyce Hinton, Co-Managing Director of the Chan Centre. “They are exceptional artists on their own, but together the combination of their gorgeous harmonies, song-writing abilities, and skilled string playing is superb. As their band name suggests, these musicians also share a very strong bond of friendship — a sense of true camaraderie that is reflected in their seamless collaborations.”
The multi-Grammy Award winning trio, called an “alliance of Americana virtuosos” by the New York Times, has earned critical acclaim for their first collaboration, but each came onto the scene of folk and progressive bluegrass music on their own merit. I’m With Her formed after Watkins, Jarosz, and O’Donovan came together for an impromptu performance at the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival. The ease with which they fell into a rhythm in that initial concert motivated them to form the band, the name speaking to the solidarity the three found in one another amidst a conservative bluegrass realm, historically monopolized by male musicians.
California native Watkins was a founding member and fiddler in the Grammy award winning bluegrass trio Nickel Creek, alongside her brother Sean Watkins and mandolinist Chris Thile. After Nickel Creek folded, Watkins went on to release several solo albums, including Sun Midnight Sun, and has performed alongside Fiona Apple, Questlove, and The Decemberists.
O’Donovan was the lead singer of Boston-based quintet Crooked Still, a high-energy band drawing on the stylings of Bill Monroe, the “Father of Bluegrass.”
Born in 1991, Jarosz grew up listening to Watkins and O’Donovan’s bands. The Texan mandolin prodigy first met Watkins when she was 9 years old, and would eventually develop a stunning solo career. Her fourth album Undercurrent won two Grammy Awards in 2016, including Best Folk Album.
Their distinct voices and instrumental plucking come together as a single instrument in concert, emphasizing their nuanced understanding of perfectly balanced melodies.
I’m With Her play The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC on September 30, 2018 at 7pm. Tickets are available online or in person at the Chan Centre box office