Near East Quartet + Kyungso Park
LONDON Southbank Centre / Purcell Room
Near East Quartet have been a force in Korean music since 2010, juxtaposing elements of contemporary jazz and traditional Korean music with pure sound exploration to create new forms. Saxophonist/clarinetist Sungjae Son and guitarist Suwuk Chung have been members from the outset and the group has recently added pansori singer Borim Kim and a highly creative drummer Soojin Suh. They release their self-titled album on ECM this summer.
NEQ’s music opened a new epoch by combining jazz and Korean traditional music with outstanding creativity
Kyungso Park is a composer, player and improviser of the gayageum, a traditional Korean stringed instrument that sounds like a cross between a harp, an oud and a theremin. She freely breaks down the borders between traditional and contemporary music and at K-Music 2016 she premiered an exquisite collaboration with British saxophonist, Andy Sheppard – ‘an engrossing improvisational encounter.’ (The Guardian) She returns this year to play her own solo concert.
‘Kyungso Park is a pioneer. Armed with a gayageum, a stringed instrument that lays flat like a zither on a tilted table, she transforms traditional sounds from her native South Korea into contemporary explorations. Listeners are invited for the evocative journey. Part of the joy from listening comes from the joy Park derives from playing. Eyes closed, her eyebrow twinged, fingers pressed down against the strings and fluttering in a full-handed vibrato’ (Resonate)
She treated a rapt crowd to a wide swath of music, both cutting-edge original compositions and traditional numbers. As serious and meticulous a composer and player as she is, she’s also a very funny, engaging performer
Produced by the EFG London Jazz Festival in association with the K-Music Festival