What kind of music do you usually listen to? Most people will answer pop music or hip-hop if they are asked this question. A small number of people may say that they enjoy listening to classical music. Just a second! There is a kind of music which has a beautiful soul but has not been mentioned yet. Jazz! Jazz’s features are that it has no particular style and no set format, so when performed, the same notes might not be repeated exactly the same way again. Because of these unusual features, the public finds jazz hard to follow. However, there is a jazz singer who keeps trying to make Korea and the world understand more about jazz and why it does not have popularity. That jazz singer is Youn Sun Nah. Let’s learn a little about the soul of jazz music, and Korea’s pride, jazz singer, Youn Sun Nah, who spreads jazz to the whole world. < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
Jazz is a music style that was born in the United States. It is a combination of African-American folk music and European music. Jazz’s rhythm is from African-American music and the instruments and harmony follow classical and traditional European methods. Jazz is said to ‘swing’ when all musicians in a group work in rhythm together, but it can also have an offbeat rhythm, vitality and creativity from improvisation, which comes from the African-American traditions. Even though the instruments may be classical European instruments, in jazz music the jazz musicians usually play using there own personal voice and performance style. So we say that jazz playing sounds quite different from European and classical music. What are some examples of jazz music? There is, “Hit the road Jack by Ray Charles. This is very well known because contestants often audition with it for programs, as well many professional singers cover this song. “What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong” is also a well known jazz song. What kind of person is Youn Sun Nah, and why is she performing this kind of unfamiliar but wonderful jazz music? Let’s find about her details.
Youn Sun Nah was born in 1969. Her father is Young Su Nah, who is the head of the National Chorus and her mother is a singer, Mi Jung Kim. From her childhood and before becoming a jazz singer, she was greatly influenced by her parents. After graduating from university, she began her job as a musical actress by performing as the yanbian woman in the musical <Subway line no.1> in 1994. Later she went to CIM, which is the European Jazz School and got a Jazz Vocal Diploma. Also, she went to the department of vocal music in Beauvais National Music Academy and graduated there as top student, and worked as a professor at CIM from 2000 to 2001. As for the achievements she made in South Korea, she was awarded the first ‘Best Korean Pop Music Crossover’ in 2004, ‘Today’s Young Artist Award’ from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2005, and was named as honorary ambassador for Gangwon-do’s Arirang in April of 2013. Actually her activities are more diverse in Europe than in Korea. Therefore, we can say that she is a goddess who is in the middle of Jazz Hallyu. Up to now, she released a total of eight albums and every album contains beautiful music. I want to recommend the Arirang that she sang in the music program of Korea, You Hee-Yeol’s sketchbook. Arirang is a very friendly and traditional song for Korean people. Youn Sun Nah combined Arirang and jazz so when Korean people listen to this song, they will not find it hard to understand. Moreover, people can have a more open mind about jazz after listening to this song.
Usually people are captivated by pop songs so we cannot suddenly open our hearts and ears to jazz which may seem unfamiliar. In particular, we may find it hard at some point because jazz has no style or formation that we can predict at all. However, I do hope that after reading this article, you will become more curious about jazz and research about jazz. Plus, I recommend all of you to listen to Youn Sun Nah’s jazz music and become closer to other foreign artist’s jazz.