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Jocelyn Limmer

Vocal, Piano

Jocelyn has been enjoying the life-saving powers of music since she could first reach the keys of her grandmother’s piano. Playing piano became her private source of solace as a lonely and shy child, and she felt an affinity with the composers whose works she learned, particularly the ever-tempestuous Beethoven. As a singer, she drew inspiration from her parents’ tapes of Patsy Cline and Aretha Franklin, savoring the former’s emotional delivery and the latter’s spine-tingling power and range. Her first vocal performance was at the age of 6 in front of her church, and from then on she was introduced to the joy of singing in community through various choirs. But her relationship with music reached a whole new level when she turned 14 and started writing songs, just as she was experiencing her first major depressive episode. At first, she struggled to accompany herself on guitar, until a teacher gave her a copy of Little Earthquakes and she was struck by the raw, forthright lyrics combined with ethereal piano. It was then that she first saw an example of who she could be as a songwriter.

 

Eventually she found her way to Berklee College of Music, where she spent most of her time avoiding performance opportunities and listening to the tirades of her inner critic. It wasn’t until after she graduated that she ventured into the local open mic scene and rediscovered the joy of community through music, this time in a setting where she shared the stage with other burgeoning songwriters and performers. Encouraged by these experiences, she began playing her own shows.

 

As a writer, performer and teacher, Jocelyn operates through the firm belief that music is not an exclusive club that only virtuosos have access to, but a gift that all humans are capable and worthy of sharing. Her influences range from Tori Amos to Nina Simone to Liz Phair to Etta James, but lyrically she draws inspiration from the fight to love oneself and others in a flawed and often frightening world. When not playing or teaching, Jocelyn can be found snuggling her cat, watching YouTube tutorials on jazz piano, or lost in the wonders of a good book.