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Emme Kemp

Emme Kemp wears many hats, as Bandleader, Broadway Composer, Singer, Pianist and researcher of American music. Chicago born Emme wrote original music & lyrics for and performed with the original Broadway production of Bubblin brown Sugar. She is at home with blues and gospel and the broad- based culturally inclusive music that prepared her as a teenager for coaching with the eminent pianist Egon Petri on the west coast. After moving to New York, rag time master Eubie Blake included Emme in his 92nd birthday concert at Harvard and chose her to record his music on his EBM label.

Emme performed her original songs on The Guiding Light and Captain Kangaroo, appeared on Entertainment Tonight and Oh Boy, Babies! On NBC. In Woody Allen’s film Sweet and Lowdown Emme is shown in jam session scenes with Sean Penn. She has appeared in Dick Hyman’s Jazz in July series at the 92nd Street Y, the Schomburg Center’s Women in Jazz Festival and received an Audelco Pioneer Award for her theatre contributions.

This former three year military woman was commissioned through the Chicago Defender to create her Echoes Out of Time theatre piece. She received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and has been honored by IWJ (International Women in Jazz, founded by Cobi Narita).

Emme independently produced her own original songs and music which are featured on her latest CD, Try A Little Tenderness.

This international performer studied at Northwestern University, Berklee College of Music and New York University. She played at Carnegie Hall with the NYU Jazz Ensemble under Jimmy Giuffre and has appeared on numerous college campuses and at jazz festivals. Emme’s lectures and writings form a significant overview on popular culture.

“. . . one of the most accomplished female multitalented artists in the business.” –BALTIMORE SUN

“. . . an unusually sensitive understanding.” –John S. Wilson, New York Times

Emme Kemp has filled the shoes of such diverse musical artists as Jay McShann, Odetta, along with Jackie and Roy Kral.

As a bandleader she has hired the creative likes Paul Quinichette, Ernie Wilkins, Arvell Shaw and many others. She played with the U Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Jimmy Guiffre at Carnegie Hall, and earlier studied at Northwestern University and Berklee School of Music. She served in the U.S. Army and produced shows for Special Services and was assigned to the Judge Advocate’s office.

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