The last decade has included many milestones for 22 year old Sierra Hull from playing the Grand Ole Opry to the White House, and more common activities for people her age like getting her driver's license and graduating high school and college. However, this month might bring the most unique opportunity she'll ever have, a round the world trip sharing her music through a program called American Music Abroad. Sierra and band will leave the nation's capital and fly west visiting Guam, Micronesia, and Jerusalem sandwiched between over 40 hours in the air, and two weeks later will arrive from the east back into D.C. During this time she will have the opportunity to share Bluegrass music at schools, festivals, and even one set for an airport parking lot, while also meeting local musicians at each stop, that will hopefully join her for a jam during some of her shows.
It’s been 11 years since Sierra burst onto the scene when Alison Krauss invited her to play the Grand Ole Opry at just 11 years old. Not long after she was trading licks with the likes of Sam Bush, and signing a record deal with Rounder Records. She started her own band at 13, toured the festival circuit during the summer while in high school, and then attended Berklee School of Music on the first ever Presidential Award Scholarship for a Bluegrass musician, all while keeping her band going.
Hull's debut album on Rounder Records, released in May 2008, was co-produced by Alison Krauss and Ron Block. The production by Hull and Ron Block paid tribute and honored the tradition and style of bluegrass music. The album contained 3 original songs penned by Hull. She was just 15 when she recorded the album and released at just 16. Her second album dropped in 2011 to critical acclaim, and she currently has an album in the works for Spring 2015 release. The new album will have been two years in the making as Sierra has gone through an intense journey of finding exactly what direction she wants to take. Early reports are the time taken is going to be well worth it.
The American Music Abroad program is designed to communicate America's rich musical contributions to the global music scene as it fosters cross-cultural communication and people-to-people connection to global audiences. Any characteristically American musical genres are welcome to apply in genres including but not limited to: Blues, Bluegrass, Cajun, Country, Folk, Latin, Native American, Gospel, Hip Hop/Urban, Indie Rock, Jazz, Punk, R&B and Zydeco. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of State, American Voices will arrange a series of month-long, multi-country cultural exchange programs including public concerts, interactive performances with local traditional musicians, lecture demonstrations, workshops, jam sessions and media interviews and performances.