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Andrew Bird
 
25-year-old violinist grew up in Chicago's North Shore suburbs (Evanston and Lake Bluff), began Suzuki violin studies at age 4, and eventually studied music at Northwestern University. Stifled by NU's rigid traditional focus, Bird began to explore a wide variety of musical outlets, from ethnic music to jazz. Since graduating in 1995, Bird has done music theatre, session work, played at renaissance fairs, and was a member of rock band Charlie Nobody. After working with the Squirrel Nut Zippers (on whose second and third albums he's performed), he released a solo CD, Music of Hair, and then formed a band, Fire.html>Bowl of Fire, with two folks from Charlie Nobody (drummer Kevin O'Donnell and bassist Josh Hirsch) and eventually two others, guitarist James Mathus and vocalist Katharine Whalen (Squirrel Nut Zippers). On the basis of their recordings (which later became the disc Thrills, They were almost immediately signed to Rykodisk. The Chicago Reader's Peter Margasak raves about him, but the Illinois Entertainer's Jeff Berkwits gives the album only a 3/10, saying that "Bird and his crew add little to the present-day swing scene, and as a result, the music sounds more like the output of timeword troubadours than viable virtuosi.

For more information, visit their website: http://andrewbird.net

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