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Okkyung Lee

A native of Korea, Okkyung Lee has been developing her own voice in a contemporary cello performance, improvisation and composition. With her solid classical training as a foundation, she incorporates jazz, sounds, Korean traditional music, and noise with extended techniques to create her unique blend of music.

Since moving to New York in 2000, she has performed and recorded with numerous artists such as Laurie Anderson, Carla Bozulich, John Butcher, Nels Cline, Chris Corsano, Axel Dörner, John Edwards, Carlos Giffoni, Vijay Iyer, Urs Leimgruber, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, Evan Parker, Wadada Leo Smith, Tyshawn Sorey, C Spencer Yeh And John Zorn to name a few.

Okkyung has released the following albums: Noisy Love Songs and Nihm on Tzadik; the Bleeding Edge with Evan Parker and Peter Evans on Psi; duo LP Anicca with Phil Minton for Dancing Wayang solo cello album i saw the ghost of an unknown soul and it said... on Ecstatic Peace!; a duo recording with christian marclay, Rubbings on my cat is an alien (LP) / A Silnet Place (CD); Check For Monsters with Steve Beresford and Peter Evans on Emanem. Recently she finished working n a duo with Paul Lytton and another duo albums with John Edwards.

She has received a composer commission from New York State Council on the Arts in 2007 and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant in 2010.


Album Review

Sara Serpa & André Matos: Night Birds

Read "Night Birds" reviewed by Katchie Cartwright

Night Birds, singer Sara Serpa and guitarist André Matos' third album together, offers an ethereal program of compositions written by the duo, separately and together. They are joined on various tracks by Brooklyn-based pianist-composer Dov Manski, South Korean avant-garde cellist Okkyung Lee, Swedish experimental singer Sofia Jernberg, Portuguese drummer João Pereira, and their young son Lourenço. The album concludes with a Béla Bartók bagatelle. To begin with the intriguing closer, the Bartók is performed quite simply, twice, with ...

Live Review

Aria - Tempo Reale Festival 2023

Read "Aria - Tempo Reale Festival 2023" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Aria--Suoni e musica di ricerca Limonaia di Villa Strozzi Firenze 14-15.6.2023 Nel suggestivo spazio della Limonaia di Villa Strozzi, il tradizionale appuntamento fiorentino con la rassegna Aria, organizzata da Tempo Reale, il Centro di Ricerca Produzione Didattica Musicale fondato da Luciano Berio e diretto da Francesco Giomi, si è articolato quest'anno su due serate e tre concerti che coniugavano musica la elettronica e l'improvvisazione in tre fogge assai diverse: il duo, il sestetto e ...

Album Review

Okkyung Lee & Phil Minton: Anicca

Read "Anicca" reviewed by John Eyles

Following previous Dancing Wayang releases from the duo of John Edwards and Chris Corsano, and a solo release from Mats Gustaffson (with another from Peter Evans in preparation), the label continues its successful series of freely improvised music with this first recorded meeting of vocalist Phil Minton and cellist Okkyung Lee, recorded at Eastcote Studios in May 2009. As always with the label's releases, Anicca is released as a limited edition on 180gram vinyl, in a beautiful, hand screen-printed, wraparound ...

Multiple Reviews

Give The Cellist Some: Okkyung Lee / Daniel Levin / Peggy Lee / Alexander von Schlippenbach

Read "Give The Cellist Some: Okkyung Lee / Daniel Levin / Peggy Lee / Alexander von Schlippenbach" reviewed by Clifford Allen

The cello has become somewhat like the bass clarinet in jazz--there are a significant number of practitioners on the instrument, yet it still wears the flag of rarity quite proudly. Even if it hasn't been prominent, the instrument still has a long history in jazz, most notably beginning with Oscar Pettiford and Calo Scott in the Fifties and continuing with players like Joel Freedman, Abdul Wadud, Muneer Al Fatah, and Alan Silva in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. Four recent ...

Album Review

Okkyung Lee: Nihm

Read "Nihm" reviewed by Celeste Sunderland

Each of the ten tracks on Okkyung Lee's debut album sounds completely unique. Yet as Lee's cello and Doug Wieselman's clarinets fade away together--and Tim Barnes' and John Hollenbeck's percussion, mixed with Ikue Mori's electronics, rattle in an at times magical, at times frightening clamor--each track opens into the next with complete ease. Nihm undulates between psychological mayhem and organic serenity.As a composer, Lee has the fearless ability to conjoin myriad textures, creating pieces of music with scarce ...

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Music Industry

Jazz this week: Jeff Lorber Fusion, Lotte Anker & Okkyung Lee, and more

Jazz this week: Jeff Lorber Fusion, Lotte Anker & Okkyung Lee, and more

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

This week's jazz and creative music offerings in St. Louis run the gamut from fusion to free improvisation, with plenty of mainstream sounds as well. Let's go to the highlights...  Wednesday, February 18 Keyboardist Jeff Lorber and the latest iteration of his Fusion group featuring bassist Jimmy Haslip and saxophonist Eric Marienthal (pictured, top left) will begin a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. You can see a video preview of the performances here, and Lorber, ...


Video / DVD

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Getting to know cellist Okkyung Lee

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Getting to know cellist Okkyung Lee

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

Today, our video spotlight falls on cellist and composer Okkyung Lee, who will be making her St. Louis debut in a New Music Circle concert on Saturday, February 21 at Joe's Cafe, 6014 Kingsbury Ave. Lee, who's originally from Korea, came to the United States in 2000 and settled in NYC, where she has collaborated on performances and recordings with well-known improvising and experimental musicians including John Zorn, Jim O'Rourke, Vijay Iyer, Nels Cline, Christian Marclay, Thurston Moore, Laurie Anderson, ...



Okkyung Lee - Noisy Love Songs (Tzadik, 2011) ****

Okkyung Lee - Noisy Love Songs (Tzadik, 2011) ****

Source: Free Jazz by Stef Gijssels

Korean cellist Okkyung Lee is one of those musicians who is not only comfortable in any genre—modern jazz, rock or classical—but in her own compositions she even goes beyond genres, not blending them, but defying them. The musicians who accompany her on this album attest to that: Cornelius Dufallo on violin, Peter Evans on trumpet, Craig Taborn on piano, Satoshi Takeishi on percussion and electronics, and Christopher Tordini on bass. Ikue Mori and John Hollenbeck join on one track—"Steely Morning"—on ...



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Night Birds

Robalo Records



Dancing Wayang






From: Night Birds
By Okkyung Lee


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