Ema Jean is a Montreal-born vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, currently living in Denton, Texas while working towards her undergraduate degree in jazz studies at the University of North Texas. She studied vocal jazz technique and performance in Montreal for 3 years, with a wide array of teachers ( among them Sharada Banman, Emma Frank, Elizabeth Koch and Johanne Desforges).
Primarily a vocalist, her style has been coined “sweet and sassy at once”. She is recognized for her unique sense of phrasing, and her ability to ‘play’ with her voice, coasting through various tones, styles and languages while delivering honest, soulful and unfiltered lyric.
Her debut studio album, Solace (2015), a unique synthesis of Americana style soul and jazz, is set for release in 2015. Recorded at Breakglass Studio with recording engineer Dave Smith, it includes 10 original compositions, played and produced by Ema Jean (vocals, arrangements, acoustic guitar), Dan Thouin (keys), Joshua Toal (electric guitar), Joel Kerr (upright and electric bass) and David Payant (drums).
Ema Jean grew up in a musical cocoon where all her family members shared the same passion for music and the performing arts, and has been writing poetry and music since she was a small child. She describes writing music as “the most consistent and progressive part of my life.” She picked up the acoustic guitar at the age of 10, and began to compose by ear on her new instrument. First performing in 2004 at The Wild Roots Folk Festival, at the age of 9, she has been building her live show ever since, with the input and mentorship of the many teachers and high-calibre musicians and artists she has had the opportunity to work. She began playing at The Yellow Door Coffeehouse in 2007 and first premiered her work to intimate audiences there, where it was well-received and praised (although the content of her lyric was sometimes shocking). The external support and praise merged with her inner drive and dedication as an artist, led her to pursue music professionally.