Amidst a generation of highly skilled and educated musicians, saxophonist Jonathan Chung slouches, serenely brimming with fresh ideas for how to present his heartbreakingly beautiful and perfectly unique music; a lone and genuine innovator. His band Glasshopper began touring in 2014 with entrancing performances across the UK ever since.
He found his artistic feet in the Glasgow's streets, collecting records and developing a sound that melds Celtic sweetness with freewheeling narrative-driven improvisation; key influences include Paul Motion, Jim Black, Sebastian Rochford, Pete Wareham, Robert Stillman, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Bjork and Radiohead.
Chung is a deeply ruminative artist, a quality reflected again and again in his compositions and through his long-standing trio Glasshopper (with James Kitchman on Guitar and Corrie Dick on Drums). His saxophone sound ventures from ghostly to arrestingly warm, remaining diligent in his search for musical truths, while his writing of music and lyrics captivates peers and audiences alike weaving from moments of sonic bliss to euphoric rock-outs.
The band released it’s debut 3-track EP in 2016, but these conventional ways of sharing music are just a small part of Jonathan’s creative output. He thinks about music and art in a truly collaborative and interdisciplinary style. This has lead to some beautiful videos and artwork to accompany his music, and also his involvement with Bittersuite - a London-based organisation which is pioneering a new way to experience music through all the senses and changing the way that audiences hear music.
His playing credits also include Mike Walker, Tommy Smith, Stan Sulzmann, Ian Dixon, NYJO, NYJOS, Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra, Corrie Dick, Chaos Orchestra and Bittersuite.
Another issue central to Chung is that of community and social justice. This manifests in his work with refugee music charity Play For Progress and affords him not only the opportunity to share his love for music with unaccompanied minors in the UK, but also to be artistic in unconventional ways.
Since his 2012 move to study at London’s Royal Academy of Music, Jonathan’s worldliness and inspiration has grown and grown and he is currently working on his debut full-length release with Glasshopper in late 2019, vehemently plotting just how to release his art.