Jesca Hoop performs Friday |

Jesca Hoop performs Friday


WHO: The Center for the Arts Discover Series presents

WHAT: Jesca Hoop with Garrett Pierce opening

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9

WHERE: The Center for the Arts

314 W Main Street, Grass Valley

TICKETS: $15 member (suggested donation)

$18 non-member. $10 student

The Center Box Office - 530-274-8384 ext 14

BriarPatch Co-op - 530-272-5333

Tickets online at


Northern Californian native singer/songwriter Jesca Hoop will bring her original folk songs to Grass Valley audiences at 8 p.m. Friday in the main stage theater as part of the Center for the Arts’ ongoing Discover series. The Discover series, brainchild of Sara Zahn (Haven Underground), was launched July 26 with the goal of bringing quality independent music from all genres, both emerging talent and established artists to Nevada County.

Hoop’s music is recognized by some of the biggest names in music from Tom Waits to Peter Gabriel.

“Her music is like going swimming in a lake at night,” Waits said.

Hoop once worked as the nanny of Waits’ children. Peter Gabriel took her to South America to sing with him, and in recent years, Hoop has toured with Eels, Andrew Bird, Punch Brothers, Shearwater and Elbow. Elbow’s Guy Garvey was so enthralled by her bleak folk songs that he made her a regular guest presenter on his BBC radio show.

Hoop has lived all over the map, and her rich life experience is reflected in her distinctive voice and gift for inventive song craft. She learned to sing at an early age, harmonizing with her musical Mormon family in Northern California. She began writing highly idiosyncratic songs at the age of 14 to keep herself company on long walks to school.

At 16, Hoop broke away from her strict upbringing, left home and began what she calls her “life as a raccoon” — off the grid and close to nature. Rambling through the high mountain deserts of the Southwest and along the coastlines of the Northwest, she worked as a wilderness survival guide and chalked up skills in farming, surveying, and carpentry. Her songwriting continued throughout, shared on porches, in deep river canyons and around campfires.

A theme has emerged in her songs —­ they tell stories of being human.

“Musically, I have no allegiance to any kind of genre, so I can go anywhere I want to go. I feel like I’m telling stories that are not about me but about things that people are going through,” she said.

In 2004, the desire to share her songs on a broader scale set in. She settled in Los Angeles, where she honed her songwriting craft and developed a reputation as a unique and beguiling live performer of real substance. Though she now resides in Manchester, England, Hoop returned to Los Angeles to record her third album, “The House That Jack Built,” dedicated to the memory of her late father.

Singer, songwriter, journalist and wine slinger Garrett Pierce will open Friday’s show. Pierce was born and raised in the Los Angeles area and has spent the last decade in the Bay Area, where he recorded two elegantly crafted full-length albums on Crossbill Records: “Like A Moth” and “All Masks.”

The latter features lush strings and a cast of 10 musicians, and showcases Pierce’s talents as a composer and lyricist.

Tickets to Friday’s show are $15 for members of the Center, $18 for non-members and $10 for students.

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