Chris Thile (pronounced /ˈθiːliː/) (born February 20, 1981) is an American musician, best known as the mandolinist and a vocalist for the progressive acoustic trio Nickel Creek. His current band is Punch Brothers and his most recent album is Antifogmatic. He has also recorded five albums as a solo artist, debuting with Leading Off in 1994. Chris Thile has collaborated with many artists such as Mike Marshall, Béla Fleck, Aoife O'Donovan, Glen Phillips, and Edgar Meyer. Thile is a great-great-grandson of Baseball Hall of Famer Sam Thompson. Chris Thile used to play the oboe in his High School Marching Band.
The three members of Nickel Creek met in Carlsbad, California at That Pizza Place in 1989, listening to weekly bluegrass shows with their parents. Soon they were taking lessons from the same instructor, playing festivals, and even recording albums. Their first, Little Cowpoke, was released in 1994. Nickel Creek has gone on to record several more albums, including their self-titled debut album and This Side, which went platinum and won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. In 2005, Nickel Creek released Why Should the Fire Die?, which received massive critical acclaim and sold 250,000 units.
Thile has released other solo albums, including the intricate Not All Who Wander Are Lost, released in 2001, and Deceiver in 2004 (in which he wrote, composed, sang, and played every part). In 2008, Thile released a collaboration album with bassist Edgar Meyer, and also plans to release a collaborative album with Hilary Hahn.