Emile Pandolfi

Greenville, USA



Behind the Music

It would be difficult for me to cite just one chapter or incident in The Outlaw Ocean that caught my interest, but the chapter I immediately knew I wanted to compose music for was “Jail Without Bars” — in which I learned that men could be put out to sea hundreds of miles from land on some ramshackle raft and callously left to die, with no consequence to the criminals on board who actively partake in other atrocities. My heart is broken to learn of the deplorable conditions men experience living and working at sea, but my broken heart and compassion does little to change any of this for the better. 

Translating this information into other art forms makes the delivery of these tales infinitely more impactful. These stories are rich with emotion and I firmly believe emotion is the international language. Music is particularly well-suited for the conveyance of emotion from one soul to another and it can provide a quick attention-grabbing gateway to exploring any topic. In my tracks, I tried to put down in sound the feelings of hopelessness and despair that are felt by the victims of the ongoing atrocities on the high seas. I am honored to make a contribution to this movement, whose goal it is to bring to light some of the most frightful situations that have been sheltered under the cloak of pretend ignorance for too long.

Emile Pandolfi
About Emile Pandolfi

Classically-trained Steinway artist, Emile Pandolfi, is a seasoned artist with a performance career spanning more than 25 years. 

Emile's Los Angeles years included a six-year stint at the world-famous Comedy Store, playing nightly for then-up & coming comics Robin Williams, Jay Leno, Bob Saget, Jim Carrey, and many others. He also worked as a rehearsal and studio pianist, theater and opera coach, and of course, in the nightclub scene. His experiences have included some unique opportunities, such as recording  performing Rhapsody in Blue in the Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics, musical director and pianist for a Melodrama dinner theater and working with Chick Corea, who describes Pandolfi as having a "monster technique." 

​Today he is known as one of the world’s premier pop pianists with an extensive catalog of solo albums and CD sales upwards of 4 million copies. Recent projects include a collection of Broadway favorites recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and a solo recording of contemporary movie themes. Emile's international performances include concerts in Australia, England, Italy, Norway, Hungary and Russia. 

Pandolfi's music has been available on Pandora since 2009, and on Spotify since 2015. He averages 2 million unique listeners a month and has surpassed a half-billion streams across the globe.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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