Jill Cohn grew up in Kennewick, playing piano and singing from the time she was a little girl.
While she was a student at Kamiakin High School, she played flute and piccolo in the marching band.
“I played the piccolo as loud as I possibly could,” she said with a laugh.
Cohn now is an accomplished musician, hailed in the Chicago Tribune for her “beautifully crafted, sometimes bittersweet and sometimes hopeful (songs)” with “soulful and savvy lyrics.”
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The singer-songwriter is based in northern California but will return to the Tri-Cities on April 18 for a show at Emerald of Siam in Richland.
Cohn is promoting her new album, Heartstrings Touching Ground, produced by Malcolm Burn, a Grammy Award winner who’s worked with artists from Bob Dylan to Emmylou Harris.
Cohn set out to make a record in the vein of the old-time country songs her father loves, and she immersed herself in that music as she wrote. While Heartstrings didn’t turn out exactly as she intended — listeners might not necessarily pick up on that influence — it’s “more true to me as an artist than anything I’ve ever done,” she said.
The record is “really about self-acceptance. And kind of stepping into who I am as a woman and who I am as a singer,” Cohn said. “It’s definitely a cross-roads kind of record for me.”
Cohn will take the stage at Emerald of Siam at 6 p.m. The show is open to all ages and there’s no cover charge.
Cohn said she enjoys returning to the Tri-Cities for shows, catching up with old friends and making new ones. “I think it’s an amazing place. People are so friendly,” she said. “It’s a really unique spot in Washington — it’s not Spokane, it’s not Seattle, it’s not Yakima. The Tri-Cities has its own energy.”
Cohn’s music does, too. For the longest time, she tried to find her place singing in a band, she said.
But then “at some point, I started writing songs. That’s when everything came together for me,” Cohn said.
She found her voice — a voice that’s on display in Heartstrings Touching Ground.
“From start to finish, there’s a lot of layers to it,” Cohn said of her record. “I hope (it) connects with people on many different levels.”
Emerald of Siam is at 1314 Jadwin Ave. For more on Cohn, go to www.jillcohn.com.