Aspen Jacobsen among Michigan’s “Artists to Watch” for 2022

The 17-year-old artist with a new single who has been performing since she was 9 is part of this week’s ‘Interlochen Singers & Songwriters Concert’ for up-and-coming blacksmiths. And that’s just part of a great 2022 to come.

Expanding her musical horizons: Aspen Jacobsen has an eventful year ahead of her. (Courtesy picture)

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At 17 years old, Aspen Jacobsen has already enjoyed a musical career that would be the envy of many seasoned singer-songwriters.

She released two studio EPs with a limited edition album later this year, and has performed extensively across the state since she was 9 years old. She recorded recording sessions in Nashville, was nominated for songwriting awards, and made appearances at several Michigan music festivals.

This week, as a second-year scholarship student in the singer-songwriter program at the Interlochen Academy of the Arts, she will be featured in the second annual “Interlochen Singers and Songwriters” concert at the City Opera House in Traverse City.

Tours, festivals and more: Jacobsen debuts a new song live in Traverse City this week. (Courtesy picture)

As part of the 7:30 p.m. show on Thursday, February 3, many of the academy’s top singer-songwriters will perform original works, with students from the academy’s music ensembles serving as backing bands.

“I’m thrilled to debut a new song at the historic City Opera House,” said Jacobsen, a native of Commerce Township in the Detroit area. “Since the start of the pandemic, I haven’t been able to perform as well as usual and I’ve really missed the stage.”

It doesn’t stop there. The singer and multi-instrumentalist steeped in folk, blues, country, Americana, bluegrass and early music is one of six songwriting students from Interlochen selected to tour the Midwest in March.

Beyond that, Jacobsen, who officially released his latest single, “Shouldn’t Give a Damn”, last week, will headline a show in June at the Trinity House Theater in Livonia and perform sets at Nor-East’r Music & Art Festival, Buttermilk Jamboree and Wheatland Music Festival this summer.

LISTEN: Aspen Jacobsen, “Shouldn’t Give a Damn”

“I’ve really missed the festival community and late-night jam circles,” she said, adding that she felt her music had taken a big step forward as she finished her last high school semester.

“My music has changed so much in the last few years that I’ve matured and had more life experiences,” she said. “A lot of my new songs revolve around social issues rather than strictly personal experiences.”

She calls her new single “an uplifting anthem to remind myself and others not to sacrifice to please others. Succumbing to pleasing people doesn’t help you or relationships. Putting yourself forward doesn’t make no case of you a bad person.”

Maturing as a Writer: Aspen Jacobsen (Photo/Scottie Magro)

A batch of Jacobsen’s latest songs will feature on a limited-edition album that will ship in August. Each of the 500 CDs will be signed and numbered.

This is the latest milestone for a young, multifaceted singer-songwriter with a vibrant voice who has already made great strides in the business.

“I’ve expanded my musical knowledge and enjoy studying jazz history and jazz improvisation,” said Jacobsen, a recent finalist in the 2022 YoungArts competition.

“I’m also a member of the house band Interlochen, playing a range of music including rock, pop, punk and Motown, as well as backing other songwriters and singers at gigs. All of these experiences shape the way I currently approach my writing and performing.

Tickets for Thursday’s Interlochen Singers and Songwriters concert are $25 adults, $15 students and are available through the Interlochen website. Doors to the City Opera House open at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

VIDEO: Aspen Jacobsen, “Shouldn’t Give a Damn” (Live)

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