Virtuoso mandolinist, singer, songwriter and radio personality Chris Thile began playing the mandolin at the age of five, and at age twelve he won the mandolin championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. Along with Sean and Sarah Watkins, he formed the hit acoustic band Nickel Creek, and Chris later found further fame and critical acclaim with The Punch Brothers.
In addition to numerous solo recordings, Chris has appeared on a wide array of other artists' projects, including Béla Fleck, Mark O'Connor, Frank Vignola, Bryan Sutton, the Dixie Chicks, Kate Rusby, Dolly Parton and Sarah Jarosz. He has performed as a duo with guitarist and vocalist Michael Daves since 2005 and, in 2011, he recorded The Goat Rodeo Sessions with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Edgar Meyer and fiddle player Stuart Duncan. In 2011, he appeared on the Tonight Show as a member of “Yo-Yo Ma and Friends.”
Chris made his first appearance on Garrison Keillor's radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, in 1996 at age 15, and he has returned numerous times. On July 21, 2015, Keillor officially announced that he was leaving the show and that Chris Thile would succeed him as permanent host in 2016.