If you haven’t heard of Emily Bear yet, you will soon.
Eleven-year-old Emily Bear caught the attention of music legend Quincy Jones with her amazing musical talents. Emily composes, orchestrates, and performs classical and jazz music for listeners around the world. With the help of Quincy Jones, the recording artist debuted her first album, Diversity, with Concord Records/Quest Records. Diversity is available now on iTunes.
CelebSecrets4U recently chatted with Emily to hear about her incredible musical journey, performing at Carnegie Hall, and her love for camping! Check out the full Q&A below…
CS4U: So you began playing music practically right out of the womb. You are a pianist and composer. Wow, that is amazing! Not many children your age have that talent so it is very impressive. What inspired you at such an early age to pursue music and keep doing what you loved?
Emily Bear: “It kinda seems like I’ve been around music since I was born because all my siblings and my mom all played music so we had a piano and I would always be attracted to it and loved making sounds on it – then I started making up songs and found my favorite thing was composing! I have always loved making up music.”
CS4U: The music you play, Mozart and Jazz, are usually music that not many kids your age would listen to. What attracted you to that music? Did you grow up listening to this music or would your parents play this type of music for you as a small child?
Emily Bear: “When I was 5 my mom showed me some pieces in a jazz book we had at the piano. I liked them right away and started learning “My Funny Valentine”, “All the Things You Are”, “The Girl From Ipanema” and others. I never heard these songs before but I loved them right away and wanted to play them – Big Band style and jazz standards are still my favorite music to listen to. I think classical music is the foundation for all piano technique and there is so much classical music in so many different styles – spanish, baroque, etc. that there is always something fun to learn.”
CS4U: You’ve been on Ellen, Good Morning America, performed at The White House, and even Carnegie Hall. You’ve finally recorded your album “Diversity”. Tell me more about your album and that successes that have come out of it?
Emily Bear: “Diversity is my first CD for Concord Music Label and Quincy Jones produced it – which was totally awesome! It is all original songs that I composed and are recorded with jazz trio: Bass (Carlitos del Puerto), Drums (Francisco Mela) & for some of the ballads – Zuill Bailey on cello. Diversity just reached #3 on Billboard and we had so much fun performing at the CD Launch concerts in LA, NYC & Chicago. I loved recording the album and it has quite a diverse assortment of musical styles from Salsa to mood pieces – all tied together with a jazz influence.”
CS4U: Can you tell us about your recording experience?
Emily Bear: “It has been such an amazing process. Working with Quincy was a dream and everything he suggested added so much. The album was recorded at West Lake Studios where Quincy and Michael Jackson recorded BAD. Everyone was great and I loved working with Carlitos and Mela. A lot of the pieces have special parts that were added during the recording process as I would get more ideas hearing the trio.”
CS4U: Now next month you are headed to Tokyo, Japan to perform at Blue Note Tokyo as part of Quincy Jones—The 80th Celebration Live Gala Party. Tell us more about this event and how excited are you? What can people expect from this performance?
Emily Bear: “I absolutely love performing live and cannot wait to visit Japan, see the culture of the country and perform at such an amazing venue. Right before that we are performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland & in Korea. It’s always fun to perform with Quincy and I can’t wait to clebrate his 80th Birthday!”
CS4U: Summer is here! Do you have any plans for the summer?
Emily Bear: “I just got back from NYC where I attended the ASCAP/NYU Steinhardt Film Scoring workshop. I got to compose the music for part of a film, orchestrate it and have it recorded live with an orchestra. I chose a science fiction film and it was an amazing experience!
I am now at summer camp for 2 weeks. My favorite activities are rock climbing, waterskiing and arts & crafts. They also have cooking classes & lots of other activities. The girls in my bunk are really nice and I have great counselors!”
Thank you for chatting with us, Emily! For more information on Emily Bear, visit her website at www.EmilyBear.com.