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Thursday is your last chance to learn ‘How to Grow a Band’

'How to Grow a Band' follows the success of the Punch Brothers.

Tonight is your last chance in New Orleans to catch the critically acclaimed documentary How To Grow a Band, which explores with uncommon access the birth and evolution of one of the most exciting young bands in the country – Punch Brothers.

Called a “gripping look at the nature of creativity” by The Nashville Tennessean, Mark Meatto’s film delves into the tensions between individual talents and group identity, between art and commerce, and between innocence and wisdom.

Twenty-six-year-old Chris Thile is at a crossroads. His marriage has ended and his platinum-selling band, Nickel Creek, has gone on “indefinite hiatus.” But Thile, a perfectionist prodigy who has defied expectation since he picked up the mandolin at age 5, has a plan:

Step one: Write a 45-minute, four-movement elegy to your failed marriage to be played by a traditional bluegrass quintet.

Step two: Recruit the only musicians around talented enough to play it and crazy enough to sign on.

Step three: Make a record, launch an international tour and brace yourself.

T Bone Burnett has called Chris Thile a “once-in-a-century musician,” while Vijith Assar of the Village Voice named Punch Brothers as “one of the greatest young bands in the country.”

“They’re astonishing – $%$# brilliant,” said Elton John about Punch Brothers. “They’re the best jam band I’ve ever seen. I want to make a record with them.”

Showtime is 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

For more information on the film, visit

Filmmaker and writer Brian Friedman writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.


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