Hailey Sandoz is a Texas-bred musician who follows a less-trodden path amongst millennials. Her music is rooted in western swing, bluegrass, jazz and Celtic music.
This remarkable young musician captures the attention of audiences, young and old alike, through her dynamic performance and representation of what many regard as the official music of Texas. Known for her exciting fiddling, charming personality, jazzy vocals, creative composing and arranging skills, there is not much Hailey Sandoz cannot do.
When did you become a musician and why the fiddle?
When I was 8 years old, I heard a friend play the violin at a homeschool gathering and was greatly intrigued. Up to that point, I was very involved in sports, so music was different for me.
Describe your style of music.
After a year and a half of classical music, I decided fiddling was a better fit for me and began exploring Celtic, bluegrass, country and western swing. I got my roots in Celtic music, studying with multiple world-renowned fiddlers, playing with various bands and recording several of my own compositions on an album called “Fingerprints” with a progressive Irish duo, Óga. Fast-forward to the past couple of years, I’ve spent a majority of my time playing bluegrass and western swing.
As of last year, I play full-time with Grammy award-winner Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band. It has been such a blessing getting to tour with the band. Recently, we recorded another season of TruCountry on RFD TV, which will be airing soon. Also, every year we get to take a private party on a Caribbean cruise which is a blast.
What is your main goal as a musician?
To continue to learn more about music and glean from the greats. I absolutely love singing. Unfortunately, I don’t do much Irish dancing anymore because I am playing more western swing these days, but I still enjoy it. My musical tastes are rather eclectic. I’m a big fan of big band, R&B, folk, country, bluegrass—and even some musical theatre.
What does Hailey Sandoz do in her free time?
Because I’m juggling music and college at the same time, a lot of my free time is devoted to studying. But when I’m not doing homework, I’m either riding horses, swing dancing or hanging out with my dog. My other passion, besides music, is horses. If I didn’t play music full-time, I would probably spend more time working with horses and competing in reining competitions.
What is one fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I am a huge swing dance enthusiast, particularly Lindy hop. When I’m in town, I try to go every week to a local swing dance.
How supportive are your parents?
My parents have selflessly sacrificed so much in order for me to achieve my goals. They have traveled thousands of miles with me to gigs and have made it possible for me to attend countless workshops and private lessons.
What would you say to someone who wants to succeed as you have?
My biggest advice is to go out and find a mentor. If you are passionate about something, go find someone who is doing what you want to do and ask questions.
I plan to continue playing music and will hopefully record an album soon. I’m also going to college and will be transferring to Texas A&M to study Communications.
Bob Valleau is an award-winning Christian writer and author in Dallas, Texas.