After 10 years studying opera, Emma moved to jazz after jamming with legendary Gil Askey.
Since 1995 Emma has been performing professionally at venues in Australia including the Palladium, several Crown Casino venues, Paris Cat and Dizzy’s Jazz Club. During corporate events, Emma has been privileged to grace the stage of the majority of Melbourne’s high end hotel and club venues.
In 2001 Emma lived and worked in Japan singing for 5 star hotel venues in Tokyo and Nagoya.
Emma has released several albums and singles, a combination of original material and reinterpretations of existing tunes.
Love Rhapsody – 2001 album – genre – mainstream jazz, latin, blues.
Bossa Eyes – 2011 album – genre – Bossa nova in the style of Tom Jobim.
Cherish – 2014 album – genre – Jazz Fusion in the style of Mike Stern, Chick Corea.
These collaborative works feature some of the finest musicians in Australia and the USA.
Emma was also the supporting act for Anthony Warlow and Rhonda Burchmore at the Scotchmans Hill concert, delighting a crowd of 7,000.
Emma now performs in blues and jazz outfits with a higher focus on original composition.
“Emma Sidney…is [about] joyous innovation. A jazz singer through and through, she soars when touching other idioms [for example] her singing over the hip-hop beats on the beautifully reworked Burt Bacharach classic The Look of Love and her original This Just Gets Better.
Sidney is inventive, and takes us on a journey to new and previously unexplored territory. And the originals … are full of joy, the sorts of pieces that make you want to get up and dance.
America [another original] is a moving slow ballad of longing, with touching and personal lyrics about her experience of the US. We respond as she opens up to us in a way that few artists do. “
Review of Cherish
Sweet & Slow, Singing Years (3RPC-FM in Portland Vic)
Arts Editor: Portland Observer
“I’ve been following Emma Sidney’s music career since she put out her first CD about 10 years ago and I was presenting Jazz On Saturday on PBS-FM in Melbourne. Her first album was an enjoyable collection of worthy standards and got lots of airplay on my show. But I was even more impressed with her second CD Bossa Eyes from about 5 years ago.
Here she includes lesser-known material, adds her own and other Australian content and mixes the selections in a mature and thoughtful manner, keeping the bossa theme up front without letting it dominate. Her singing has also taken on added depth and sensitivity.
She’s always been a thoughtful interpreter of lyrics; now she has attained that rare quality of ‘selling’ a song with utter genuineness. It’s been a pleasure watching her career progressing so agreeably.
As the presenter of two programs in regional Victoria and a music reviewer for a regional newspaper (The Observer), I am looking forward to airing and writing about her newest projects. But as an avid listener, I am even more excited about her new work and what directions she will choose for her artistry.”
“DON’T be fooled by the title. Sidney embraces the Latin American sounds but goes much further. It’s a brave, innovative journey – intriguing to listen to – that leaves the listener wondering where they will be taken. One of the best examples is her take on Wayne Shorter’s Infant Eyes. Its complicated, convoluted melody line would defy most vocalists. Backed by Bob Sedergreen on piano, Sidney holds it together, creating one of the album’s more intriguing passages.
Sidney’s interpretation of the lyrics stands out. She understands them and brings them to life. Other non-bossa tracks include the Kate Bush classic Man with the Child in His Eyes and Johnny Mercer’s Tangerine, which is given a Latin flavour, thanks largely to Todd Sidney’s work on piano and Denis Close on Brazilian percussion.
Unforgettable gets a bossa makeover, too. Check out Agua de Beber and Corcovado, where she gives the words more power and presence than most vocalists. For a Melbourne woman, Sidney’s handle on the Portuguese language is pretty good. Her Latin rendition of Moonlight in Vermont is special, too, transforming an otherwise overdone, tired song into something fresh and new, thanks in no small part to her interpretation of the lyrics.
Her own composition, Catching the Wave, has a beguiling flow. There’s enough her to captivate most listeners.”
“The popularity of bossa promises to make a comeback, thanks to this lovely and gentle new CD. On these 12 well-chosen tracks Emma Sidney mixes famous Jobim standards with much loved melodies like “Tangerine”, and even a slow, haunting Kate Bush song, “Man With The Child In His Eyes.”
Emma’s own delicious “Catching The Wave” ought to be the theme music for a surf doco, it’s that good. Emma’s supporting cast, including pianist Todd Sidney and guitarist Nic Lam, remain faithful to the highly sensual spirit of bossa.
On two tracks, Victorian music legend Bob Sedergreen makes a welcome return to the studio. It’s perfect for late night listening when romance is a real possibility.”