Francesca Maximé – ReRooted – Ep. 50 – Music from the Heart with Emmet Cohen

Francesca Maximé welcomes jazz pianist Emmet Cohen to ReRooted for a conversation about how music truly comes from the heart, the importance of practice, and much more.

Leader of the “Emmet Cohen Trio” and creator of the “Masters Legacy Series,” Emmet Cohen is an internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and dedicated music educator. He has performed, recorded, or collaborated with Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Cobb, George Coleman, Jimmy Heath, Tootie Heath, Houston Person, Christian McBride, Kurt Elling, Billy Hart, Herlin Riley, Lea DeLaria, and Bill T. Jones. Learn more about Emmet and sign up for his newsletter at

Music from the Heart

Francesca welcomes Emmet to ReRooted, and asks about how he became the pianist he is today. Emmet talks about how important improvisation is to jazz music, and how music truly comes from the heart. He reflects on the appreciation and great respect he has for the jazz artists who came before him, and the great joy he brings to his music.

“Anything I can do for the music, I think, is more important than anything I can do for myself.” – Emmet Cohen 

John Forté discusses the spirit of music on Mindrolling Ep. 386
Practice Routines (13:23)

Francesca brings up the importance of practice, and Emmet shares how his routine has evolved over the years. They play some of Emmet’s music, and he talks about how he uses the music to communicate with his bandmates as they play. Francesca explores how Emmet’s presence in his music can really bring people into the present moment.

“Your presence and focus and attention to detail, I think gives people a certain degree of permission to really just sink in to observing the experience.” – Francesca Maximé

Watch Emmet Cohen and Vanisha Gould perform “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” during a recent edition of Live From Emmet’s Place
Breath is an Anchor (32:25)

Francesca asks Emmet about his yoga practice; Emmet talks about how the breath is an anchor in both yoga and his music. They discuss Emmet’s new album, Future Stride, and whether he’ll continue the “Live From Emmet’s Place” live stream in the future. Whatever’s next, Emmet will bring along his sense of goodness, joy, and respect.

“As I was learning [yoga], I’d learn how the breath integrated into all of this, and it really kind of reminded me of the way that I always thought about my breath when I played music.” – Emmet Cohen

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