Emily Pinkerton

Emily Pinkerton

 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Evocative, joyful and firmly rooted in folk traditions, Emily's music is a moving synthesis of North & South American cultures, and an invitation to explore the emotional and artistic resonances between them.


Growing up in Valparaiso, Indiana, Emily Pinkerton never imagined that the center of her musical world would move to Valparaiso, Chile, and set her on a path to performing music of the Andes. “Ends of the Earth,” her third release, takes listeners on a journey through the rich traditions of the Andes and Appalachians in a passionate collection of powerful folk songs. Drawn from opposite ends of the earth, these songs feel right at home together in the caring and capable hands of Emily's band.  Sinuous melodies and tightly woven rhythms on guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass and cajón resonate together in the natural acoustics of the sanctuary where the album was recorded.

During three years in South America, Emily studied with master musicians Alfonso Rubio and Chosto Ulloa, learning the traditions of Chilean "canto a lo poeta." The soaring melodies of this song style permeate her latest work: “Even when writing in English, I gravitate towards the rhythms I learned there. I love how it feels to sing the high, arching melodies of Chilean canto, and I think you can sense this in my album, whether the tune is an Old-Time reel or a South American tonada.”

Emily has toured North and South America, appearing at venues such as SXSW (TX), Sala América (Chile), Kamikaze (Peru), and Makor (NY), sharing the stage with Alejandro Escovedo, Stacy Phillips, and the Chieftains. She is shaping an ever-growing audience for her music, winning the City Paper readers’ poll as one of the top three acoustic acts in Pittsburgh, where she now lives. She performs solo and with her trio, featuring bassist Layo Puentes, cajón player Lucas Savage and guitarist Daniel Marcus.

In 2010, Emily was selected to be part of the Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour (PennPAT) Roster. Partial funding may be available to support performance engagements in Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the US Virgin Islands. Visit pennpat.org for details on grants and fee support.

"The best of two cultures and songwriting styles."

"Affecting and poignant--a different kind of high lonesome..."
Sing Out!

"An eminent performer, she represents Chilean music with precision and respect."
Micaela Navarrete, National Library of Chile

"One of the best PittArts programs we've had yet."
Kathryn Heidemann, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

"At times her voice is the epitome of loneliness, and at others, a portal for the familiarity that only home can bring."
The Santiago Times



Written By: Emily Pinkerton

When the bluebird sings his last farewell
And the leaves from the trees have blown,
I wish I could cry you to sleep,
I wish these tears could be my own.

Well I'm standing here
to help you on this ride.
I wish the road were shorter,
The sky less wide.


You'll scale the rocky shores,
You'll cross the sands,
Who'll take the burden of his
fate from your hands?



Emily Pinkerton, Ends of the Earth, Green Jeans Records 2012
Emily Pinkerton, Valparaiso, Green Jeans Records 2008
Emily Pinkerton, EP, Green Jeans Records 2004
Divahn, Mizrocky Records, 2002
Trillium, 1998

Set List

40-60 minutes of original and traditional songs in English and Spanish. If requested, we can also perform sets completely in Spanish.