StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Getting to know cellist Okkyung Lee


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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, Butch Morris, Evan Parker, Wadada Leo Smith, and many others.

For her St. Louis show, she'll be on a double bill with saxophonist Lotte Anker, with each doing an individual set. (Of course, given the penchant of many improvisors for promiscuous collaboration, it's possible they might end up playing together for a bit as well, but there are no guarantees. Anker also performed here in 2013 in a concert for New Music Circle, and you can check out some of her work in the Saturday Video Showcase that ran not long before that show.)

As for Lee, we start out today with an video excerpt from her solo set last November at Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht, The Netherlands. After the jump, you can see four more clips from solo shows of hers, in February 2014 at the Rumor Festival, also in Utrecht; at the Latvian experimental music festival Skaņu Mežs, also in 2014; in April, 2012 in Cork, Ireland; and an undated clip from the Music Unlimited festival in Austria.

Just to round things out, we've also included a couple of videos of Lee improvising with other musicians. In the sixth clip, she's seen with saxophonist John Butcher in 2013 at the Next Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. The seventh and final video shows an excerpt from a set with turntablist Christian Marclay in May 2010 at NYC's Cafe Oto.

For more about Okkyung Lee, check out this 2014 interview with her from Radio Panik; this one she did with the music blog Flowers In A Gun; this 2013 conversation with Fluid Radio; and this interview that ran in 2011 in the Village Voice.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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