photo by Charles Hildreth

photo by Charles Hildreth

The 2013 Underground Music Showcase is coming up this Thursday–Sunday. So to prepare for the four-day show, we sat down with local singer/songwriter Jessica Sonner, who’s been playing her acoustic/pop music for years, and who’s even landed her songs on TV shows like “Big Love” on HBO.

Read on to see how Sonner’s music career began, and see what she’s planning for this Saturday.

303: How long have you been performing?

JS: I’ve  been performing since I was really young. I started piano lessons in second grade and have been working with choirs and musicals all the way to junior high and high school. I did some performing in college as part of my major as well, which was music business at Anderson University in Indiana. After college, I had all the songs I had written and didn’t know who was going to sing them. So I started doing it. That’s how I fell into being a musician professionally.

303: How did your passion for music start?

JS: I  have always really loved music. I have some very vivid memories of being very young and  watching my dad play the guitar at church. I got a couple of records when I was young including Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, and my personal favorite Patty Griffin. They changed my life. I always wanted to play and perform music and touch other people the way their music had touched me.

303: What is your earliest memory of playing music?

JS: Probably at church as I mentioned before. My brother is a really fantastic musician and I remember our family playing together quite a bit in my dad’s church. Starting piano lessons really young was definitely a huge part of where I ended up today.

303: Favorite artist you’ve taken the stage with?

JS: I have been able to share the stage with a lot of really amazing people. But honestly, my favorite artist that’s far has been Dan Craig [my husband]. I think pretty highly of him and hopefully that’s obvious because I locked that down. He is a phenomenal lyricist and musician. I am lucky to share my days with him.

303: Any fun stories? 

JS: We played a show together at the Walnut Room in 2007, I think. It was an amazing night. We had previously been dating but were currently broken up and were asked to play a show together. All of our friends showed up who knew our story to see what kind of a train wreck the show would be. It ended up being hilarious for a lot of reasons including Dan swallowing his guitar pick which sent us to the emergency room overnight. Anyway, it was a fantastic evening and we had the crowd rolling. It was one of my favorite shows I’ve ever played. Our friends often talk fondly of that night. P.S. Dan was okay.

photo by Tiffiny Kallina

photo by Tiffiny Kallina

303: Did you perform at the UMS last year?

JS: I did perform last year. I have been honored to perform for the last for five years. I love the UMS.

303: What are you preparing for the UMS this year?

JS: I am preparing a special little tribute to one of my favorite artists. You will just have to come to the show and check it out.

303: Are you working on any new material?

JS: I am working on new material. I’m working on putting out an EP, hopefully within the next year.

303: What is inspiring you to write this new album?

JS: I recently have some room in my schedule that has been devoted to building a business called Wirebird Music for a while now. It’s an artist management company. The past three years I have been investing in other artists including a band called Churchill and another called Covenhoven… Now it’s time that I get back to my own artistry as well.

303: Any other shows soon?

JS: I don’t have anything else on my schedule right now but I have some things up my sleeve. For now you’ll have to come to the UMS and see me play at South Broadway Christian church at 5 PM on Saturday.

The 2013 Denver Post UnderGround Music Showcase is this Thursday–Sunday at 20 venues with over 350 bands. Sponsors include Schomp MINI, Illegal Pete’s, and Breckenridge Brewery.

For more information, visit http://www.theums.com.

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