An Icon in Contemporary American Roots Music
“Rosanne Cash likes to underplay her songs. There’s no sales job going on, just a quiet trust in the power of words, the pull of melody. She takes on big subjects with small gestures and a clear voice that refuses to showboat.” — Chicago Tribune
“Just as her father soared as both songwriter and song interpreter… Cash connects dots of familial, historical, and music cultural cross-influences.” — Santa Barbara Independent
One of the country’s pre-eminent singer-songwriters, Rosanne Cash has released 15 albums of extraordinary songs that have earned 4 Grammy awards and 14 nominations. She is also an author, whose 2010 memoir, Composed, garnered widespread praise from critics and landed on The New York Times best seller list. In addition, Cash is a music community catalyst who often brings together giants of American roots music for various events and is a valued voice in documenting modern music history.
Along with many other honors and awards, in 2021 Cash was the first female composer to receive the MacDowell Medal, awarded since 1960 to an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to American culture. She is also one of only a handful of women to be elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In addition to regular touring, Cash has partnered in programming collaborations with Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, SFJAZZ, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Library of Congress. She has served as artist-in-residence at New York University and was a resident artistic director at SFJAZZ. Cash is currently writing the lyrics for a musical, Norma Rae, with composer John Leventhal and book-writer John Weidman. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Oxford American, The Nation, and many more print and online publications. Her most recent book, Bird on a Blade (2018), was published by University of Texas Press, combining images by acclaimed artist Dan Rizzie with Cash’s lyrics.
“I consider artists to be in the service industry; the premier service industry for the heart and soul,” says Cash. “I am curious to a pathological degree and the Sword of Time hangs over me, and those two things—curiosity and the hourglass— make me feel more urgent than ever to connect, to find community, and to create. It doesn’t matter what the world thinks, it only matters that what is unsaid and what is unseen is given form and has a voice.”