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LIVE MUSIC: Emily Watkins

Friday Jul. 19th, 2024 | 7-10pm

An Eau Claire native, Emily has been an active member of the Chippewa Valley music scene for over ten years.  For four semesters, she played guitar in the Grammy-nominated University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Professor Robert Baca. During her time in the band, UWEC’s Jazz I was awarded the prestigious Downbeat Award for Best Undergraduate College Big Band. Since 2012, she has been the guitar player for the Chippewa Valley Jazz Orchestra. In 2019, Emily also had the opportunity to attend the week-long New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp in Kalamazoo, MI. During her time there, she was given one-on-one coaching by members of the Grammy-award winning vocal ensemble The New York Voices.

Though she is an experienced jazz musician, Emily is well-versed in a variety of styles of guitar playing, including funk, country/folk, classical, blues, and many varieties of rock music. Since 2018, she has been the guitarist, booking manager, and co-arranger for Uncommon Denominator, an 8-piece variety band that has been voted Best Cover Band in the Chippewa Valley in the Volume One Reader’s Poll for the last five consecutive years. As a lover of theatre, Emily has also played in pit orchestras for almost thirty different musicals, playing guitar primarily and doubling on banjo, mandolin. Most recently, she held the guitar chair for the storied Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre based in Grand Lake, CO in the summer of 2021.

Emily also has a passion for music education, with almost ten years of private teaching experience. Currently, she maintains a private guitar studio on the north side of Eau Claire, welcoming students of all ages, abilities, and experience levels. Emily is able to teach a variety of styles, ranging from beginner technique and basic note reading to jazz comping and advanced music theory. She also teaches ukulele and beginner bass guitar.

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