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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A snapshot from the musical career of a ‘Polaroid Lover’

Sarah Jarosz will play Friday at the Knitting Factory.  (Courtesy of Servin Lainez)

Sarah Jarosz is running out of music cities. The singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist was born in Austin, Texas, a generation ago, moved to New York City after graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2013 and resided in Manhattan for seven years. Jarosz left for Nashville, Tennessee, during the pandemic.

“Austin, New York and Nashville are all pretty different,” Jarosz said, while calling from Englewood, Colorado. “Each city has a very strong musical identity. So many great songwriters come from Austin, like Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark and James McMurtry.

“There’s something about the Texas singer-songwriter sound that I was exposed to since I was a kid. There are so many different styles of music I was exposed to in New York. There’s a lot more jazz and there’s even a bluegrass scene there that’s unique to New York.”

It wasn’t easy for Jarosz to leave her Upper West Side apartment. The pretty but sad “Columbus & 89th” is a moving track from her latest album, “Polaroid Lovers.” The melodic tune looks back at Jarosz’s New York experience.

“Staying out with you ‘til sunrise hit the Hudson/ Without a thought for what had passed and was coming’?/ Back then I thought I’d never leave.”

“It’s hard to pick a favorite song from this album, but the one closest to my heart is ‘Columbus and 89th,’ ” Jarosz said. “It’s the most personal song on the album.

“I definitely miss New York. There’s no place like it on Earth. I was fortunate to live there and that song processed the emotions of leaving New York due to the pandemic. I turned a page, which was part of the chapter of my youth as I moved on to adulthood.”

“Columbus and ‘89th” is a snapshot of Jarosz’s life, so it’s fitting it’s part of an album dubbed “Polaroid Lovers.”

“A Polaroid is like any photo dealing with a period of time,” Jarosz said. “That fleeting moment you can remember in a photo. These songs capture those fleeting moments in my life.”

Jarosz, 32, will showcase “Columbus and 89th” and much of “Polaroid Lovers” on Friday at the Knitting Factory. Jarosz will also deliver songs from her six prior releases. Jarosz, who has a degree in contemporary improvisation, delivers her provocative Americana via mandolin, guitar, clawhammer banjo and octave mandolin. The latter is her instrument of choice.

“The octave mandolin is my soulmate,” Jarosz said. “I’m most comfortable playing and soloing with that instrument.”

Daniel Tashian, who produced “Polaroid Lovers,” made a huge difference, Jarosz said.

“Initially, I reached out to Daniel just to write with him,” Jarosz said. “But we hit it off creatively. After a few sessions, I asked Daniel to produce and he was the perfect person for the job.

“He helped guide me and led the band into this fuller sound.”

The four-time Grammy Award-winner received a nice assist from Tashian, but Jarosz has learned a great deal about where she wants to venture sonically, since she has played with a number of luminaries. Thanks to her versatility, Jarosz has been a session player for such recording artists as Bruce Cockburn, Amy Ray and David Crosby, who died in 2023. The iconic recording artist who was part of Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Byrds, had a huge impact on Jarosz, who worked on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer’s final album, 2021’s “For Free.”

“Getting to work with David Crosby and having the opportunity to know him toward the end of his life was one of the highlights of my life,” Jarosz said. “He came out to a show I did in Santa Barbara and surprised me. For someone like him, a legend, to go out of his way meant the world to me.

“He was so inspiring, since he had so much music in him until the very end. He would call me and talk about music since he lived and breathed it.”

Jarosz is cut from the same cloth since she has been obsessed with music since she was a child.

“When I was growing up, my parents took me to see all of this incredible live music in Austin,” Jarosz said. “I hardly ever remember having a babysitter as a kid. I had the opportunity to see this quality of music when I was growing up in Austin that was really high. … I had a chance to see these amazing shows, and I just loved music from an early age and that hasn’t changed.”