Musical Prodigy Emily Bear Wows Audiences Worldwide

May 31,2013

WASHINGTON — Emily Bear has performed at Carnegie Hall, the White House, world-class festivals, with symphony orchestras, and on an album pro duced by Quincy Jones - all before the age of 11.

[0:19]While most kids her age are hanging out at the mall, playing video games, or carpooling with friends for a weekend of movies and soccer games, Emily is preparing for her next television or concert appearance, composing songs, launching a tour or sharing the studio with seasoned musicians.
Musical Prodigy Emily Bear Wows Audiences Worldwide
Quincy Jones, left, and Emily Bear arrive at The Recording Academy’s 4th Annual "An Evening of Jazz" at The Village Recording Studios, Feb. 6, 2013 in Los Angeles.

Among them - Quincy Jones, who worked with Emily on her new album Diversity. A friend of Quincy’s heard the young pianist play one night and convinced him to meet her. Working with the legendary producer, Emily says, was one of the biggest thrills of her life.

“It was great. He’s such a nice guy. He’s like a walking encyclopedia of jazz music and history. I learned so much from him,” she says.

Born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, Emily was already singing and playing piano by age two. At age six, she was invited to play piano on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” displaying her range with classical, jazz and original music. Her performance was such a hit that Ellen invited her back to the show five more times.

Emily is in constant demand to play at venues around the world and she tries to fulfill as many requests as possible.

“I love traveling," she admits. "I’ve seen China and Italy and France and London and Switzerland and Vienna. Actually, we’re going with Quincy this summer to Switzerland for the Montreux Jazz Festival which is going to be a blast, and (then to) Korea and Japan.”

Emily Bear composed all of the songs on Diversity, including the track “Q” in honor of her mentor Quincy Jones.

The youngest of three children, Emily is currently being homeschooled by her mother. Although time is tight, she still enjoys getting together with friends, watching movies and answering fan mail. She says some people describe her music as life changing.

“I love when they get inspired and they start playing piano again or they start playing an instrument," Emily remarks. " I love these e-mails I got from patients who have cancer, that use my music to relax during chemotherapy treatments. I’m so glad it inspires people to do things.”

Emily is currently studying film scoring and classical piano. She will perform at the 2013 Montreux Jazz Festival on July 21, paying tribute to Quincy Jones on his 80th birthday and to the festival’s late founder Claude Nobs.