Mike Brandt is the Embry Group's rhythm guitarist and one of its trio of lead vocalists. Mike's musical story begins far later in life than the rest of Embry, dating back to a hair-brained scheme to convince his wedding party to join him in learning instruments to surprise his wife Brittany at their wedding. Hair-brained idea quickly became passion, and Mike works an increasing variety of folk stringed instruments as part of Embry.
He made his debut performance on stage at the Barns at Wolftrap, earning applause from a very friendly crowd of wedding guests, and earning an inquiry from the lovely Mrs. Brittany Brandt whether they could "keep the band" after the reception. In a sense, that's just what they did! Now headlining Embry as "M" and "Bry," Mike fills his half of their partnership by strumming his Gibson and fronting the band.
Band Role: Vocals, Rhythm
Instruments: Acoustic Guitar, Modeling Acoustic
Brittany Brandt is Embry's multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire. Her music career began way back when she was a little girl, and now counts over 20 years developing into a professional musician. Brittany spends her days teaching music at Browne Academy in Alexandria, inspiring music in children on the daily.
Brittany is the Embry Group's lead female vocalist, and provides "sick harmonies" on just about every song she doesn't lead. She primarily plays mandolin, melodica, and ukulele with the band, but her musical capabilities extend to nearly every instrument imaginable, and this diversity often makes itself known throughout a gig.
Band Role: Rhythm, Lead, Vocals
Instruments: Mandolin, Ukulele, Melodica, Keys, Trumpet, and "all the instruments!"
Morgan Henry bought his first guitar in 1965, an electric in 1966, and joined his first band in 7th grade. He studied music and recording at UVA, and spent at least part of his time in the music industry ever since as a performer, teacher, and running his own recording studio. Morgan joins band members Brittany and Liz as a full-time professional musician, giving up a career in high-tech marketing after 25 years in order to dedicate himself to his talent and passion for music.
Morgan, in a way, is responsible for Embry existing. Morgan runs a sound studio in Alexandria, VA, and has performed with bands from New York to DC for nearly 50 years. He also teaches guitar and bass in the DC area, and that's how he met Mike Brandt and, eventually, the other members of Embry. It didn't take more than a couple years for the two to develop a fast friendship, and for Morgan to find himself out gigging with the band.
Band Role: Lead Guitarist
Instruments: Lead Guitar, Synth Pedal, Acoustic
This is Dan. Dan's played bass a really long time.
Mike asked Dan if he wanted to play bass in the Embry group. Dan said yes.
Band Role: Rhythm, Vocals
Instrument: Da Bass
Rich Latimer is an American born drummer from Queens NY and has had a love of drums from a very early age. Rich studied with Master Drummer Michael Carvin in his early teens and garnered a lifetime of knowledge about music through lessons and the many legendary jazz musicians Rich was fortunate to be around such as Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Slide Hampton, Betty Carter, the Bridgewater brothers and countless others that shaped his musical influence. “I was taught through the music of Jazz that my drumming independence and discipline required for Jazz music would carry across all venues of music”.
Growing up Rich’s parents always had music in the house from Motown to Al Greene, Aretha Franklin to the Beetles, The Jackson Five to EarthWind & Fire, Captain & Tennele to Joni Mitchell.
Rich comes from a musical family as his Aunt Almeta Latimer sang with Aretha Franklin as a backup singer for many years. His Uncle John Latimer is an incredibly accomplished organist in his own right.
“To this day I’m so very thankful of my parent’s love of music as that love has certainly transferred to an appreciation of all musical grooves”.
As a teenager Rich appeared in the classic highschool musical “Fame” as a drummer and got a real taste of what professional musicianship was about. A stint followed as drummer for the T.V. Series Fame along with T.V. Jingles and other recording sessions that have shaped Rich’s playing today.
“My time at New Yorks Highschool for the Performing Arts gave me a chance to see and be with so many different talented young people from musicians, to actors to dancers. It’s a time in my life I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for.”
“If I had any advice for the young musicians coming up today it would be to embrace all forms of music and learn as authentically as you can the grooves for each style of music, it will keep you working and best of all very busy”.
Band Role: Percussion
Instruments: [Really Amazing] Drums
New to the DC area, Danielle is Embry’s most recent addition. She recently moved to Northern Virginia from Philadelphia, where she played for over ten years in local and professional orchestras, wind bands, musical pit orchestras, chamber ensembles, and the now disbanded folk group “Sought After Saints,” as well as other various organizations. Her new role with Embry is holding down the harmonic fort with keys and backup vocals, with occasional surprise appearances of other various instruments.
Danielle’s musical background goes back to childhood and played a prominent role in her upbringing, so much so that she decided to make it her life’s work. She recently received her Master of Music degree on full scholarship and has performed several times overseas. She now resides in Alexandria with her fluffy cat Sophie and teaches children how to play and appreciate music on a daily basis.
Band Role: Keys, Backup Vocals
Instruments: Keys and Anything Else Required (flutes, whistles, and more!)