Punch Brothers blend of bluegrass, jazz, chamber music to hit Purdue stage

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Mandolin player Chris Thile and his progressive folk band Punch Brothers will bring their music – a style that blends bluegrass with chamber music, jazz and 1960s folk and pop – to Purdue’s Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20. Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile is presented by Purdue Convocations.

Hailed from a young age as a mandolin prodigy, Thile released the first of five solo albums when he was 13 and, by the time he was 20, he was attracting a following among many different music audiences as a member of the Grammy Award–winning Nickel Creek. Thile performed at Purdue two years ago with the group.

His new Punch Brothers lineup includes guitarist Chris Eldridge, a founding member of the Infamous Stringdusters; bassist Greg Garrison, who has played with trumpeter Ron Miles and Leftover Salmon; banjo player Noam Pikelny, who has collaborated with John Cowan and Tony Trischka; and violinist Gabe Witcher, whose playing has been featured on the soundtrack of films ranging from “Toy Story” to “Brokeback Mountain.”

The group first collaborated with Thile on his 2006 solo album, “How To Grow a Woman from the Ground,” which featured covers of songs by the White Stripes and the Strokes as well as by Gillian Welch and Jimmy Rodgers. Their latest work, “Punch,” features a 40-minute, four-movement suite that includes recurring images of heartbreak and romantic longing, impressionistic lyrics and jazz-like improvisation.

Tickets for the show are $28 for adults and $22 for children 18 years and younger, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students. Tickets are available at the Elliott Hall and Stewart Center box offices at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster outlets. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more can be ordered at (765) 496-1977.

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