|Img Capt:||Chris Thile performing at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2007.|
|Birth Name:||Christopher Scott Thile  (Pronounced “Theé-lee”, like “really.”)|
|Born:||February 20, 1981|
Oceanside, California, United States 
|Instrument:||Mandolin, bouzouki, mandola, banjo, guitar, tenor guitar, drums, piano, violin, viola, bass|
|Genre:||Bluegrass, progressive bluegrass, folk, country, classical, jazz|
|Years Active:||1994 - Present|
|Label:||Sugar Hill (1994 - 2007)|
Nonesuch (2007 - Present)
|Associated Acts:||Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers, Mutual Admiration Society, Mike Marshall, Edgar Meyer|
|Notable Instruments:||Gibson Lloyd Loar F5 Mandolin (serial number 75316 , Lynn Dudenbostel F5 Mandolin #5 and #14, Lawrence Smart mandola, Flatiron bouzouki|
Chris Thile () (born February 20, 1981) is an American musician, best known as the mandolinist and vocalist for the progressive acoustic trio Nickel Creek. His current band is Punch Brothers and his most recent album is Punch. He has also recorded five albums as a solo artist, debuting with Leading Off in 1994. Chris Thile has collaborated with many artists such as Mike Marshall, Béla Fleck, Glen Phillips, and Edgar Meyer. Thile is a great-great-grandson of Baseball Hall of Famer Sam Thompson.
The three members of Nickel Creek met in Carlsbad, California at That Pizza Place in 1989, whilst listening to weekly bluegrass shows with their parents. Soon they were taking lessons from the same instructor, playing festivals, and even recording albums. Their first, Little Cowpoke, was released in 1994. Nickel Creek has gone on to record several more albums, including their self-titled debut album and This Side, which went platinum and won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. In 2005, Nickel Creek released Why Should the Fire Die?, which received massive critical acclaim and sold 250,000 units.
Thile has released other solo albums, including the intricate Not All Who Wander Are Lost, released in 2001, and Deceiver in 2004 (in which he wrote, composed, sang, and played every part). In 2008, Thile released a collaboration album with bassist Edgar Meyer, and also plans to release a collaborative album with Hilary Hahn.  
Thile was born in Oceanside, California in 1981. His earliest memories of music are listening to Stan Getz's "The Girl from Ipanema" before he even turned one year old. When he was two, his family started going to That Pizza Place, where he listened to John Moore's band Bluegrass Etc. When Thile was four, his family moved to Idyllwild, California.
Thile began playing the mandolin at the age of five, taking occasional lessons from John Moore. At age eight, Chris' family and the Watkins family formed Nickel Creek. The band performed at many California bluegrass festivals, and as a result Chris had to be home-schooled. At age twelve, he won the prestigious national mandolin championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.
That same year, 1993, Thile made a demo tape and sent it to the Sugar Hill and Rounder record labels. Both labels showed interest, but the Thiles went with Sugar Hill. The next year Chris Thile released his first solo album, Leading Off, featuring mostly original compositions.
In 1995, the Thile family moved to Murray, Kentucky where Chris' father Scott Thile accepted a position at Murray State University as a musical instrument technician.  In 1997, Chris released Stealing Second and Nickel Creek released Here to There. Chris went on to attend Murray State University for a few semesters, where he was a music major.
See main article: Not All Who Wander Are Lost (album) and Deceiver (album). Following the major success and platinum accreditation of the album Nickel Creek, Thile released Not All Who Wander Are Lost in 2001. The album featured guest appearances from several well-known instrumentalists such as Stuart Duncan, Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas, and Bryan Sutton.
In 2003, Thile teamed up with mandolinist Mike Marshall for the duet album Into the Cauldron, which included original pieces as well as pieces by Charlie Parker and J. S. Bach. In 2004, Thile released Deceiver, an experimental album on which he recorded every track himself. This included electric guitar, piano, drums, violin, viola, cello, and bass. Deceiver demonstrated some pop/rock songwriting in addition to "newgrass."
See main article: How to Grow a Woman from the Ground and Punch (album). In August 2006, Nickel Creek announced via Billboard Magazine and their official website that at the end of the year they would no longer be recording together as a group, and their tour scheduled through 2007 would be their last for an indefinite period of time. This opened the way for Chris Thile to pursue new projects.
In 2006, Thile formed the How to Grow a Band, with whom he recorded How to Grow a Woman from the Ground, Thile's fifth album. In an interview with the Nashville City Paper, Thile described the formation of the band:
The band consists of Chris Thile (mandolin), Gabe Witcher (fiddle/violin), Chris Eldridge (guitar), Paul Kowert (bass), and Noam Pikelny (banjo). Bryan Sutton has also filled in on guitar when necessary. In 2007, the band officially changed its name first to "The Tensions Mountain Boys" and then "Punch Brothers."
On March 17, 2007, this group debuted Thile's most ambitious work to date at Carnegie Hall: "The Blind Leaving the Blind", a forty minute suite in four movements. Thile says the piece was written in part to deal with his divorce of 2004.
In August 2008, Thile and bassist Edgar Meyer announced the release date of the duo's planned debut album. The album was released on Thile's label Nonesuch Records on September 23, 2008. Commenting on the collaboration, Thile said "Edgar is one of the biggest influences on my musical life, and now I’m in a duo with him and writing songs with him. This was my dream. I always wondered what it would be like to be playing music this hard."
Thile's career has been successful, especially for one so young. He is also featured in the documentary Bluegrass Journey, along with the rest of Nickel Creek, and still maintains an active touring schedule. An in-demand studio musician, he has also appeared on a number of other artists' recordings, including Béla Fleck's Perpetual Motion, playing arrangements of Baroque music with Fleck and Edgar Meyer, the Dixie Chicks' Home, Kate Rusby's Awkward Annie, and Dolly Parton's Little Sparrow.
He can frequently be seen playing in New York City, NY at The Baggot Inn and Parkside Lounge's bluegrass jams alongside Tony Trischka, Greg Garring and Michael Daves.
|US Bluegrass||US Country||US Indie||US Heat|
|2001||Not All Who Wander Are Lost||13|
|2003||Into the Cauldron (with Mike Marshall)||6|
|2006||Live: Duets (with Mike Marshall)||6|
|How to Grow a Woman from the Ground||2||46||27||28|
|2008||Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile (with Edgar Meyer)||3|
See main article: Nickel Creek discography.
Listen and/or watch Chris Thile on 5 episodes of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour: #165 as a member of Nickel Creek; #199 Chris Thile with Bryan Sutton; #287 Chris Thile and Mike Marshall, another master of the mandolin; #416 Chris Thile and the How To Grow a Band, #506 Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile