Born in the winter in the mountains of Wyoming, Sharon Martinson picked up the banjo first a young girl while on the front porch of her grandparent’s house. But she didn’t start playing it until nearly the end of her PhD studies, when it suddenly provided ample distraction from writing her thesis. Her ecology field project brought her to California, where she lived part-time in Santa Cruz and part-time in the Sierra Nevada, near her field sites. It was in the mountains that she happened upon an amazing cellist and they started the unlikely banjo-cello duo of The Littlest Birds, her current main musical outlet. She nests in the Sierra, but is more likely to be found migrating, anywhere else. She is often touring for music, sharing her soul with the world, and continues to study ecology, volunteering in countries near and far, sharing her brain (Dr. Martinson is a visiting scholar at Dartmouth College). Her unique banjo playing and hauntingly beautiful voice, innate grasp of traditional music and history of the banjo, as well as an unassuming yet powerful drive to forge ahead into uncharted musical and intellectual territories, have given her the ability to create a path of her own through this life, following none, and inspiring many.
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