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emily cavanagh music

Singer, Songwriter, Activist, Artist

Music as a means of healing is an idea that permeates and informs most of Emily Cavanagh’s life. A working musician in New York City, Cavanagh has recorded four records to date, and played with some of the city’s finest musicians. Cavanagh, a graduate of New York University, has spent nearly ten years combining two passions-music and service- playing music, while helping underserved and homeless find their voice through the arts. 

Cavanagh —born to a large Irish American family in Chicago, and living amongst the doers and dreamers of NYC — has an ebullient vocal style influenced by the singers of the forty’s and fifty’s, while maintaining a great pop sensibility. Cavanagh, an independent artist, is a published songwriter, and regular performer in cities like NYC, Chicago, Nashville and Dublin.

Cavanagh’s latest EP, "Paper Moon," written entirely in Ireland and produced by grammy nominated Leo Sidran was released to acclaim in late 2017 both in the states and abroad, and plays on major music platforms like Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Apple Music, and Dublin Radio. Her prior full length record, Keep It With Mine, (also produced by Sidran) features all original songs in collaboration with jazz guitarist & pianist Jeremy Zmuda and Nir Sadovnik. USA Today tweeted about that project calling the record “a little gem.” Her live covers project, "Bootlegs from the Continental" was released in early 2018. This record features some of her favorite musicians, capturing original spins on timeless classics.

Since the release of her first full length record, Cavanagh has found success playing notable venues like NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall, Blue Note, Chicago’s Schubas, LA’s Hotel Cafe, Nashville’s The Basement, and Dublin’s Whelans to sold out crowds. She often plays abroad in Ireland alongside acts like multi-platinum selling Irish singer/songwriters, Paddy Casey and Mundy. She has provided back up vocals for musicians like James Apollo (in his opening act for Lord Huron) and written for international acts like the band, Neeskens.

In 2017, the instrumental of Emily's song "Treehouse" was featured in the trailer for Woody Harrelson's film "Wilson," a Fox Searchlight Picture. Her music can be heard in indie soundtracks & record shops, NY Tech events, and Garance Dore’s video "Can Anybody be a Photographer." Her song “Dark was the Night” has been highlighted as a song honoring Rwandan Genocide survivors, and has played at The United Nations, Georgetown University, and The Jewish Museum of Heritage. Her story has been featured in publications like The Guardian, AXS, American Songwriter, The Regional, Blindfold Magazine, Medium, Ditty TV, Joe Rooney, and Little Things.

In addition to music, Cavanagh continues to work freelance for arts non-profits where she lends her voice to causes close to heart such as Musical Director, Mary Mitchell Campbell’s “Artists Striving to End Poverty," working alongside other artists to bring music to youth living in poverty in places like South Africa. Cavanagh remains passionate about using music to help people find their voice while sharing her own with all of us.

All music available on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, and other streaming sites.





For nearly ten years, Emily has worked as both a singer/songwriter and a social worker, combining her two passions—music and activism, playing and writing music, while helping underserved and homeless young adults find their voice through the arts. She has worked with individuals living with HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ communities, medically frail children, and refugees. She is most passionate about this work, and while she works entirely freelance now as both a musician and an activist, continues to be dedicated to the work of using her voice to help others find their own. 





Emily's song "Dark was the Night," inspired by Rwandan Genocide Survivor, Consolee Nishimwe, has been featured in a number of performances at the UN. Sundance Filmmaker, Shilpi Gupta, collaborated with the women on this first music video. The second video below features the story of Consolee set to Emily's music, and is produced by "Rwanda Next."


November 2016

Written by Emily Cavanagh

Arranged by Andrew Miramonti, Recorded by Mor Mezrich, Video by Rob O'Dwyer



Artists Striving To End Poverty

Emily's favorite non profit. See below:

Artists Striving To End Poverty (ASTEP) is an organization founded by Broadway Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell & Juilliard students to transform the lives of youth using the most powerful tool they have: their art.


Today, ASTEP connects performing & visual artists with underserved youth affected by homelessness, gun-violence, incarceration, the justice system, HIV/AIDS, and poverty in the US, India, & South Africa.




opry city stage - grand ole' opry in new york (little sparrow duo)

September 1st


opry city stage - grand ole' opry in new york (little sparrow duo)

September 5th


art boutiki music hall - san jose,california (with ren geiseck & jon dryden)

September 19th


crepe place santa cruz - santa cruz, california

September 21st


Paramount theatre - new york (backing vocals for shaun hague's "journeyman")

October 5th



October 15th


hockley hustle festival- nottingham, united kingdom

October 28th


re-imagine "a song for someone" - montefiore hospital, ny

November 1st


Rockwood music hall Stage 3 - NYC

November 15th



past venues of note

  • The Space, Westbury

  • McCarthy's, Dingle, Ireland

  • City Winery, NYC

  • Lilypad, Boston

  • The International Bar, Dublin

  • Alice's, Naas, Ireland

  • Spirit Shop, Dundaulk, Ireland

  • The Bitter End, NYC

  • Irish Arts Center, NYC

  • Scratcher, NYC

  • Dublin Castle, London

  • Blue Note, NYC

  • Schuba's, Chicago

  • Whelan's, Dublin

  • Hotel Cafe, LA

  • The Basement, Nashville

  • Lafayette's, Memphis

  • Rockwood Music Hall, NYC

  • Hiro Ballroom, NYC

  • Pete's Candy Store, Brooklyn

  • The Living Room, NYC

  • Red Room, NYC

  • The Monocle, St. Louis

  • Rockwood Stage 3, NYC

  • Ela’s, Hilton Head


Paper Moon

by Emily Cavanagh