Interview: Singer-Songwriter Jumi Lee on her Music and the Rising Tide of Jazz in Korea


Shortly before the debut of jazz vocalist Jumi Lee’s CD, The Rising Sun, I was given a listen to a few tracks prior to being pressed. As I listened, I was immediately taken by the strong vocal presence flowing through. The woman has some serious pipes.

To look at Lee, with her unassuming demeanor and petite frame, one wouldn’t imagine her to be in possession of the cool yet warmly rich voice which pours forth from her recordings and live performances. A 29-year-old Busan native who received her degree in applied music from Busan Arts College, Lee pays the bills as a visiting professor at her alma mater, as well as lecturing at the Dong-Eui Conservatory.

During our interview last month, aside from the occasional small talk, our entire conversation was conducted through an interpreter and yet, interestingly, every tune on The Rising Sun, aside of the final track, ??? (Barami), is comprised of English lyrics translated from Lee’s Korean-written words, accompanied by four jazz standards, which includes two Cole Porter classics.

You can read the rest of the interview at Branding in Asia.




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