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Andrew Bird (born July 11, 1973) is an American musician. He was born in Illinois and resides in the Chicago area. Bird is a singer-songwriter who is also a violinist, guitarist, and whistler.
Trained in the Suzuki method from a young age, Bird graduated from Illinois' Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in violin performance, Bird released his first solo album, Music of Hair, in 1996. Vastly different from his later releases, this first album showcases his violin skills and pays tribute to his fascination with both American and European folk traditions, as well as jazz and blues.
His initial commercial exposure was in collaborative work with the band Squirrel Nut Zippers. He quickly was lumped in with the swing craze that swept the US music industry in the mid '90s, an affiliation that he is still working to shed.
Taking on the role of band leader in 1997, he released his first album, Thrills with his band Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire. This was followed by Oh! The Grandeur in 1998. Both albums were heavily influenced by traditional folk, pre-war jazz and swing, with Bird relying on the violin as his primary musical...