Emily Yates is a native of Syracuse, New York, and has lived in Oakland, California, since 2009. It’s become the perfect place for her to develop her plethora of interests, such as:
Emily has always loved to sing, dance and otherwise perform in public, but it wasn’t until 2011 that her well-meaning husband taught her to play an instrument: the ukulele. She started writing songs (such as “Try Not To Be A Dick,” a finalist in the 2012 International Songwriting Competition) and playing them for people, who usually applauded. The applause led her to pursue more performance opportunities, and although she’s still in the beginning stages of Eventual Ukulele Superstardom, she is sure that soon she will be able to drop the “Eventual” and just move on to total world domination. Especially since she now also plays the tenor banjo – everyone knows how effective a communication tool banjos can be. Her debut album of entirely original material is called I’ve Got Your Folk Songs Right Here,. In summer 2013, you can find her on cross-country Eventual World Domination Tour of the U.S. (as good a place as any to get started).
Book Emily at your venue (including house concerts) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ever since she learned to use a camera as an Army journalist, Emily has been addicted to semi-obsessively documenting all the interesting-looking people, places, things and events in her life. She’s shot a bunch of famous people and myriad events (including this thing called the Iraq War, which many people have forgotten about), but her favorite subjects are musicians, babies and nature. Her camera of choice is a Nikon D90 and she hates using a flash.
Emily loves to write and always has. For six years, she was an Army “journalist” – notated as such because military journalism is also called “public affairs” – and wrote lots of articles and editorials on varying topics having to do with the Army. She also has a sporadically-updated travel blog. Recently, a poem of hers was published in a collection of writings from veterans of the Global War on Terror(ism). You can check out the book here.
Emily served in the Army from 2002 to 2008, which included two combat tours to Baghdad, Iraq – the first from January 2005 to January 2006, the second from March 2007 to May 2008. Three weeks after her second deployment ended, she received her honorable discharge from the military. About a year later, she came across the organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (www.ivaw.org) and thought, “Hey! I am one of those.” So she joined, and continue to be as active within the Bay Area chapter as she is able. She is a supporter of IVAW’s Operation Recovery – the campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops, to which you can donate here. She is also an advocate of bringing back the draft in order to reconnect Americans with the consequences of war and U.S. foreign policy and intervention. She received her B.A. in Near Eastern Studies at U.C. Berkeley in May 2013, and has been using her studies to better understand and process her own experience as a participant in the Iraq War. In 2012, she created a short documentary called “Islamophobia in the Military,” which was screened on September 11, 2012 at UC Berkeley. Her aim is to continue to create avenues for public discourse surrounding this and other issues relating to an increasingly militarized American society.
It is a goal of Emily’s to organize a group of Iraq veterans who are musicians to go back to Iraq and collaborate with Iraqi musicians on a music project. If you or anyone you know might be interested in participating or helping facilitate this project, email email@example.com.