Jewish Singer Pays Tribute to Her Father and Her Roots on Stage
Not long after her father passed away last year, singer/songwriter Emily Keating had the difficult task of performing at City Winery, one of Manhattan’s best music venues.
“I was able to do it because I didn’t have a choice,” Keating said. “My dad would never want me to turn down a show.”
Her father, Edward, was a photographer for The New York Times. He went nearly every day to Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to take pictures, a kind of determination that has clearly inspired his daughter.
One of Keating’s best songs is “Daddy,” which she wrote several years ago, partly to become closer to her father.
Keating, who grew up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and is a Dickinson College graduate, returns to perform at City Winery on Monday March 14.
She spoke to me about the importance of her religion.
“Judaism is important to me because I love the ritual and culture, as well as sharing my faith with other people,” she said.
She said that City Winery “is a gorgeous venue,” and that she is happy that more and more people are coming out to live events in New York City as the COVID-19 numbers have declined.
She added that 10% of the proceeds of the show will go to feed those in need, as part of “Why Hunger.” She said that at a time when there is so much conflict in the world, it is important to project positivity and light.
What does she think about while performing on stage?
“When I’m up there, I’m focused and I don’t think about anything,” Keating said. “But my hope is that I bring people joy in the sense that the audience is not just living but really alive.”
During the heart of the pandemic, she spent time in the Catskills, and said that spending time in nature brought her both power and clarity. Her single “Mom” will come out on Mother’s Day.
She said that she is excited to be on stage at City Winery on March 14.
“I love singing on stage more than anything,” Keating said. “There’s nowhere I’d rather be.”
The author is a writer based in New York.