Katharine Emlen first fell in love with world music when she was 11 years old and lived in Nakuru, Kenya. The daughter of a wildlife biologist, she lived in a small field station with no running water or electricity. Elephant, giraffe and zebra roamed freely outside her window and bats slept over her bed. She went to school with Kikuyu and Masai children who shared their stories an songs with her. This experience led to a life long love of cultures, travel and world music.
She grew up playing classical piano, then as a young adult moved into percussion ensembles, international choirs and most recently performed with Kudana, a Zimbabwean Marimba ensemble in Eugene, Oregon. She has been collecting international music for over 35 years and brings a diverse wealth of music to WUOT.
No stranger to the University of Tennessee, Katharine Emlen graduated from UT Knoxville in 2002 with a Summa Cum Laude degree in Cultural Anthropology. She then moved to Oregon where she continued her studies in Media Productions and fell in love with radio.
Katharine got involved with 91.9 KRVM and spent over ten years on air hosting a variety of shows, including Focus on Community, Women and Music, and the original version of what became the Sounds Global show. She also hammed it up on stage during many live broadcasts and remote recordings from the field. Currently
Katharine works as a freelance creative, assisting people with copyrighting, photography and video production projects. In her free time, she has a soft spot for pairing macro photography with poems, a series of work she calls The Poetry of Nature, most recently seen at the Arts Emporium's Knoxville Jurried Photo Show where she won Best of Our Earth.
She is thrilled to be back in Knoxville, and looks forward to becoming part of WUOT and sharing her love of music with her community.