Abigail Washburn is a banjoist who writes and sings folk, bluegrass and Appalachian tunes, lives in Nashville and collaborates with Bela Fleck. Quintessential Americana right? But this American artist had to go to China to find her way to American roots. Washburn grew up singing in Illinois but never took music seriously until she took a trip to China in 1996 and fell in love with the country's music, culture, and language. The experience renewed her interest in American traditions, and she took up the banjo upon her return. Abandoning plans to move to China, she instead took up residence in Nashville. Washburn's resume includes stints with the Cleary Brothers and all-girl string band Uncle Earl, as well as extensive solo work. Her 2005 debut solo album, Song of the Traveling Daughter, featured Bela Fleck and Ryan Hole from Collective Soul. During this period, she also began writing songs in Chinese, and in 2008, she released an album with the Sparrow Quartet (a group that also features Fleck) that blends Asian and Western sounds. In 2009, she collaborated with the Shanghai Restoration Project to create Afterquake, a tribute to the victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.