Sarah Jarosz

2017 Composition Commission: Sarah Jarosz

FreshGrass Composition Commission

Sarah Jarosz, the second recipient of the FreshGrass Composition Commission, premiered Blue Heron Suite at the 2017 FreshGrass Festival. The work, a cohesive song cycle performed with her trio which highlighted both the maturity of her writing and the virtuosity of her musicianship, was inspired by family trips taken as a child growing up in Texas. Evocative and intensely personal, the piece illuminated the uncommon depth of an artist who has transitioned from teen prodigy to a (23-year-old) mature artist in full command of her songwriting prowess.

This commission came on the heels of her fourth album, Undercurrent, which shifted the emphasis from her skills as a multi-instrumentalist to her songwriting and vocal performance and garnered her two Grammy Awards in 2017 — for Best Folk Album of the Year and for Best American Roots Music Performance for “House Of Mercy.” She also picked up the award for 2017 Folk Album of the Year from Folk Alliance International.

On May 7, 2021, Blue Heron Suite the album was released via Rounder Records and subsequently nominated for the 2022 Grammy in “Best Folk Album.” You can learn more via No Depression’s interview with Sarah Jarosz!