Doyeon Kim

DoYeon Kim is a traditionally trained Korean artist who plays the gayageum, a traditional Korean string instrument, and has developed a uniquely broad approach to music, which incorporates Korean music, jazz, and improvisation, among other influences. Importantly, she introduced the gayageum into the improvisational music scene worldwide. Her recent collaborative projects have broadened to include dancers, actors and visual artists.

During her traditional Korean training, she won numerous international competitions for her gayageum performances, including the Dong-A Ilbo Traditional Music Competition (Gold Prize, 2009), and the On-Nala Korean Music Competition (Gold Prize, 2011). DoYeon is also a graduate of the Contemporary Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she was the first student ever admitted to the school playing any kind of Korean traditional instrument. She joined the faculty at her alma mater (2022).

She has worked with numerous composers, performing several world premieres, and has been an invited guest lecturer for gayageum and Asian music at Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Universidad Nacional De Colombia, Dartmouth College, and many other universities. The Gyeonggi Sinawi Orchestra, a traditional music orchestra in Korea, has invited her as a music director (2021), and improvisation conductor (2023). DoYeon makes an effort to share a new and broader approach to music, drawing from Korean traditional music, improvisation, and development of original playing techniques.

DoYeon has performed throughout the world leading the Kim Do Yeon Band, and alongside many improvisers, including Tyshawn Sorey, Joe Morris, Agusti Fernandez, Tony Malaby and Anthony Coleman. Her first album, GaPi (2017), intimately combined traditional Korean music and jazz, and was nominated for a 2018 Korean Grammy Award in the crossover album category. The same year, DoYeon released the free improvisation album Macrocosm with Joe Morris, and performed on Jim Snidero’s Korean themed jazz album Project-K (2020), alongside Dave Douglas, Orrin Evans, Linda Oh and Rudy Royston. DoYeon Kim was recognized by as one of 7 Musicians Pushing Ancient Asian Instruments Into The Future (2021), and is performing projects at Roulette as a Van Lier Fellow (2023).

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