Chris Thile to perform live Nov. 16 at UAB’s Alys Stephens Center

Thile, a master of the mandolin, is a member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, a Grammy Award winner, a MacArthur fellow, and an ASC audience favorite.

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Chris ThileComposer, vocalist and mandolinist Chris Thile will perform live in concert Tuesday, Nov. 16, on the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus. 

The performance is presented by UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Thile is a Grammy Award winner and MacArthur fellow — and an ASC audience favorite. The concert is at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $49. Call 205-975-2787 or visit   

A member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek and former host of the program “Live from Here,” Thile is a master of the mandolin. His broad outlook encompasses classical, rock, jazz and bluegrass, and he transcends the borders of conventional genres, creating a distinctly American canon and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike.

Thile’s newest album, “Laysongs,” was released in June. According to his artist’s statement, this is his first truly solo album: It is just Thile, his voice and his mandolin, on a set of nine new tracks combining original songs with three wisely chosen covers that contextualize and banter with his ideas. 

While Thile’s critically lauded interpretations of Bach on mandolin also showcased him on his own, that was a kind of duet, a dialogue between Thile and his beloved J.S. Bach, according to his artist’s biography. “Laysongs,” on the other hand, is more of a soul-searching soliloquy. Thile confronts, cajoles and cozies up to his personal — and our shared — angels and demons, an effort made more poignant, dramatic and universal by the enforced isolation of the pandemic.  

At the heart of the album is a three-part piece, “Salt (in the Wounds) of the Earth,” that Thile premiered during a fall 2018 composer’s residency at Carnegie Hall. That was “the first (and so far, only) music I’ve made specifically to perform alone, which felt like an opportunity to sing some words that it wouldn’t necessarily be fair to put in a collaborator’s mouth,” he said. That was just the start of what would become a solitary adventure, professionally and philosophically.

Safety is UAB’s priority. The pandemic is a fluid situation that UAB is monitoring, in consultation with infectious disease and public health experts; performances will be subject to change based on the latest COVID-19 safety guidelines. Event staff and attendees are required to wear masks indoors on campus regardless of vaccination status, as well as maintain proper distancing while on UAB’s campus, including at events.