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Emily Bear

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Thirteen Year-Old Composer/Pianist Phenom

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Sunday, Jun 8, 2014

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Emily Bear

Emily stopped by the Queen Latifah’s show to chat and do a jazzy performance of “The Girl from Ipanema” with vocals, as Queen Latifah and Quincy Jones looked on. Take a look!

Emily’s 2013 interview on NPR’s Morning Edition

About Emily Bear

In his illustrious career, Quincy Jones had seen it all or so he may have thought before he came across Emily Bear. Only twelve years old, Emily is one of the most astonishing musical talents of our time; composing, orchestrating, and performing in a bewilderingly diverse collection of styles.  A child of this century, born Aug. 30, 2001 in Rockford IL, where she still lives with her parents and older brother and sister, Emily started to show extraordinary musical talent practically from the cradle.  She started playing the piano at age 2.  By the time she was 8 she had composed more than 350 pieces of her own music.

At age 5, Emily made her concert debut at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, playing a 40-minute solo program performing classical pieces side by side with jazz standards and her own compositions. She was invited to perform at the White House at age 6. Later that year, she opened for Ramsey Lewis and his Trio with a 30-minute set of her own. Her orchestral debut came at age 7, playing Mozart Piano Concerto no. 23, K488 and by age 8, she was playing concerts abroad in Italy and China. At the age of 9 she made her Carnegie Hall debut with a 110-piece orchestra, a 220-voice choir, and R&B soloists performing one of her compositions, “Peace. we are the future.”

Emily broke into the national spotlight at age 6 when she appeared as a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show performing Mozart, jazz and an original song she composed. She was invited back on the show five more times, all in a span of two years, performing original music at each visit. She has since been featured on several major news programs, including Good Morning America, ABC World News Report with Diane Sawyer, ABC Nightline, and the Katie Couric Show. Internationally, Emily has been featured in stories on Swiss, German, Australian, Italian and Chinese television, among others. Emily won an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Competition Award at the age of 6.  She plays all of her music from memory, even 45 page classical concertos.

In 2011, Emily had yet another big year when she made her debut at the iconic Hollywood Bowl. With more than 11,000 people looking on, Emily played a medley of her own compositions, “The Bumble Boogie” and performed “Miss Celie’s Blues” (from the score of “The Color Purple”) with singers Gloria Estefan, Patti Austin, Siedah Garrett and Nikki Yanofsky. That summer, Quincy also presented Emily at the 45th Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Festival Castell in Peralada, Spain where she performed solo as well as with Grammy Award winner, Esperanza Spalding.

Emily’s first studio album, Diversity, produced by her mentor and friend, legendary Quincy Jones, was released in 2013 and peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Albums chart.

What Other People Have Been Saying...

“I am at once astounded and inspired by the enormous talent that Emily embodies. With the ability to seamlessly move from Classical to Jazz and Be-bop, she shows as much musical prowess as pianists/composers twice her age… She’s astounding… She is the complete 360-degree package, and there are no limits to the musical heights she can reach.” – Quincy Jones

Listen to Emily’s October 1, 2013 interview on NPR’s Morning Edition: