Steeped in jazz, James Taylor, and Jimi Hendrix, Emily Elbert has carved out her sound on the road. Full of love, wanderlust, and do-it-yourself determination, she has performed on self-booked tours throughout the U.S. and in 15 different countries – from Turkey to Thailand, and from Spain to Saint-Barthélemy. 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 700 shows, won awards on both sides of the Atlantic, and released four independent albums of original material.
Known for her strong melodies, straight-to-the-heart vocals, and intricate guitar work, Emily’s music fuses old-school R & B styles with progressive influence and insight. She has performed at some of the best listening rooms, clubs, and theaters in the country, from the Brooklyn Bowl and the Kessler Theater to the Hotel Café and Club Passim. Emily has also opened for/toured with artists including Leon Russell, G. Love & Special Sauce, Crystal Bowersox, Tuck & Patti, Richie Havens, Kaki King, Emily King, Livingston Taylor, Joan Osbourne, Ruthie Foster, Kate Voegele, Ben Taylor, Marcia Ball, the James Hunter Six, L.A. Guitar Quartet, Patty Larkin, and many more. She has also worked for the U.S. Embassy, leading cultural outreach workshops and performing music in Thailand, Indonesia, Scotland, Palestine, and Israel.
Recent awards include being selected by Don Was for the Guitar Center Singer-Songwriter Top Ten, as the first recipient of the Chairman’s Young Artist Scholarship Award at the Crown of the Continent Guitar Workshop and Festival, 2013; First Place Winner of the 2012 B.W. Stevenson Memorial Songwriting Contest; as well as a 2012 Timberland Community Eco-Friendly Artist. In 2010, Emily was named to the top five of the Mountain Stage/NewSong contest and Glamour Magazine selected her as one of their Top Ten College Women. She’s a winner of Scotland’s 2009 BurnSong International Song Contest and was named the Best New Artist of 2008 by WUMB-FM Radio in Boston. In 2007, The Dallas Morning News selected her as Local Rookie of the Year, she was selected for the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Foundation jazz vocal ensemble, and she won first place in the Texas 10 Under 20 Competition at the Dallas International Guitar Festival.
Emily’s music has also garnered accolades from publications including The Dallas Morning News, The Washington Post, and Glamour Magazine, and YouTube videos of her performances have attracted more than 1.5 million views from music lovers of all ages and nationalities. She’s played over 30 festivals, ranging from New York’s CMJ to Indonesia’s Java Jazz Fest. The Boston Folk Festival says, “Emily is among the most glowing of the upcoming generation of American singer-songwriters, if ‘upcoming’ even applies to this phenom any longer.”