Steeped in jazz, Joni Mitchell, and Jimi Hendrix, Emily Elbert has carved out her sound on the road. Filled with a global spirit and do-it-yourself passion, the nomadic songstress has journeyed solo around the world, playing over 900 self-booked shows from Italy to Indonesia, and Peru to Palestine. These diverse experiences are reflected in her musical style, an uplifting blend drawing inspiration from the depths of soul, folk, funk, and bossa nova. Her message touches on the personal, the divine, and the universality that lies in between – paying tribute to the timeless, yet fused with progressive insight.
Born and raised in Texas, Emily first fell in love with guitar at 14. She quickly dove into writing, singing, performing, and recording, and set her sights on attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she was awarded a four-year, full-tuition scholarship. Now, the 2011 Berklee graduate has played over won awards on both sides of the Atlantic, attracted more than 1.8 million YouTube views, and released four independent albums of original material.
Known for her strong melodies, straight-to-the-heart vocals, and intricate guitar work, she has performed at some of the best listening rooms, clubs, and theaters in the country. Emily has played festivals ranging from New York’s CMJ to Indonesia’s Java Jazz Fest. She has also opened for/toured with artists including G. Love & Special Sauce, Victor Wooten, Leon Russell, Richie Havens, Robben Ford, Tuck & Patti, Kaki King, Emily King, Crystal Bowersox, Jake Shimabukuro, Livingston Taylor, Joan Osbourne, Ben Taylor, Marcia Ball, the James Hunter Six, L.A. Guitar Quartet, and many more. Emily worked in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy as well, leading cultural outreach workshops and performing music in Thailand, Indonesia, Scotland, Israel, and Palestine.
Recent awards include being selected by Don Was for the Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter Top Ten, and as the first recipient of the Chairman’s Young Artist Scholarship Award at the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop and Festival, 2013. Emily has also won numerous awards in both the U.S. and U.K. for her songwriting and guitar playing, including Scotland’s Burnsong International Song Contest and Texas’ B.W. Stevenson Songwriting Competition. In 2010, Glamour Magazine selected Emily as one of their Top Ten College Women in North America.
Emily’s music has garnered accolades from publications including The Dallas Morning News, The Washington Post, Glamour, and Utne Reader. The Boston Folk Festival remarks, “Emily is among the most glowing of the upcoming generation of American singer-songwriters, if ‘upcoming’ even applies to this phenom any longer.”