Chris Thile, 31, New York

The versatile mandolin player was a child prodigy but transitioned into a mature musician in his work with the trio Nickel Creek; more recently in the group Punch Brothers; and in various ventures that have ignored traditional boundaries among country, bluegrass, jazz, pop and classical. In effect, Thile is championing an all-American idiom that merges populism and high art.
Home Front Communications
Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World