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Talented guitar player returns to hometown to play for kids

Juno is a Rock Island High School graduate and has since toured the world, playing with artists like Camila Cabello, Lizzo and Keith Urban.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — A guitar player named Juno the Artist put on a clinic for Earl Hanson Elementary school students in Rock Island on Friday, May 20.

Juno is a Rock Island High School class of 2005 graduate, who currently resides in Los Angeles but has family ties that frequently bring her back to the Quad Cities.

After graduating from Illinois State University and planning a career in social work, Juno discovered her love for the guitar through a client she was wanting to connect with.

"One of my clients introduced me to guitar, it was his passion. I had never even held a guitar before. When I tell you, I felt something go through my body. And I was like, 'I want to feel that again.' And I've been wanting to feel that every day for 10 years. So I still consider myself a social worker, I just have a different method," Juno said in an interview with News 8 before the school event.

She got her industry breakthrough after being discovered through her YouTube videos. Juno has since toured the world, playing with artists such as Camila Cabello, Bruno Mars, Lizzo and Keith Urban.

"It's so cool to be off the road and back in my home community, sharing the things I've experienced all over the world. I was in a different country every two days. I had to look over at my paper to see what language was this today," Juno said.

"And everything I learned, the richness of the world that I learned is not money. It's connection, it's community, it's relationship, it's family, it's friends," Juno continued.

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Juno didn't learn to play guitar until the age of 23 but has discovered how it helps her make that human connection.

She had fun with the students of Earl Hanson today, connecting with them through high-energy speaking and singing. She brought multiple groups of students up front to do sing-alongs to songs like "Baby" by Justin Bieber and "Surface Pressure" from Disney's "Encanto" soundtrack. 

She stressed the importance of setting goals and working hard to reach them, whether it is in music or elsewhere in life. 

"No matter what you do, there's no excuse to not spend the time I call grinding and to really learn the craft. Don't let technology fool us, we still got to go through the process to be great," Juno said. 

Juno gives private guitar lessons online and also runs a guitar education program called "Building Black Leaders" that mentors black students through guitar lessons.

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