Music series

EmiSunshine to Perform for Xavier University Music Series

The Xavier University Music Series in Cincinnati is progressing despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting a temporary halt to in-person concerts.

Since 1976, the series has brought together acclaimed classical and jazz artists from around the world for live concerts at the Gallagher Student Center Theater several times a year. Now, the series continues live on YouTube at no cost to the public, thanks to a grant from the Sarah Marvin Foundation for the Performing Arts and support from individual patrons.

“Music is more important than ever these days, and I’m determined to keep the Xavier Music Series going with the same quality of guest artists as before,” said Series Director Polina Bespalko. “Hopefully we can resume traditional in-person concerts in the future once social distancing is no longer necessary.”

On Thursday, March 11, the Xavier University Music Series will present EMISUNSHINE & THE RAIN: LIVE FROM THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS. This will be the first time the series will feature a country/Americana artist.

“We have always had a loyal group of supporters who have come to our classical music and jazz concerts, but as we are currently broadcasting live, we wanted to expand our network and attract more people,” Bespalko said. “As an American artist, EmiSunshine’s music has blues and jazz influences. She’s amazing.”

Watch EmiSunshine perform “Blue Skies” below! (Video courtesy of Real Music TV)

Now 16, EmiSunshine has been garnering national attention since she was 9, with appearances on “Today”, NBC’s “Little Big Shots”, the Grand Ole Opry, “WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour “, “Song of the Mountains” and Sequel. In 2018, the Tennessee native was featured in Elvis Presley’s Grammy-nominated documentary “The King,” for which she wrote and performed two original songs, “Danny Ray” and “Johnny June and Jesus.” Her 2019 album “Family Wars” received critical acclaim, and also that year she received the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Desmond Child Anthem Award. In 2020, she collaborated with funk music legend Bootsy Collins on the song “Stars” to benefit the Recording Academy’s COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Although there is no charge for her performance for the Xavier University Music Series, donations will be accepted for the Bootsy Collins Foundation, which supports various causes: Madi’s House, which helps people cope with addiction issues and mental health; the historic King Records restoration project; and the Grooveminte Girls, an organization that fights bullying and helps young people overcome abuse.

EmiSunshine performs nationwide with her family band, The Rain, consisting of her father, Randall Hamilton (bass), brother Jonathan Hamilton (mandolin), and uncle Bobby Hill (drums). She and her mother, songwriter Alisha Hamilton, are represented by Reynsong/Anthem Entertainment.

EmiSunshine & The Rain will perform Thursday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. EST, streaming live on YouTube at More information can be found at

Information about EmiSunshine is available at