07-15-2007 16:58
Korean Jazz Vocalist at Newport

Jazz vocalist Sunny Kim will take part at Newport Jazz Festival.
By Seo Dong-shin
Staff Reporter

Jazz vocalist Sunny Kim will become the first Korean to appear on stage at the JVC Jazz Festival in Newport, United States, next month.

The 28-year-old will perform with the Roswell Rudd Quartet on Aug. 11, showcasing eight songs in an hour long set at the prestigious festival. Formerly known as the Newport Jazz Festival, the event has featured such legendary vocalists and musicians as Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Duke Ellington over its 52-year history.

While Kim, whose Korean name is Kim Yun-sun, is relatively unknown in her home country, she has gained recognition in the United States where she studied.

Growing up in Malaysia where she moved with her parents at the age of 14, she discovered jazz music as a means of expression when she found herself caught between the walls of unfamiliar languages and cultures. She went on to study music at the University of Denver in the US at the age of 19.

After graduating with a master's degree from the New England Conservatory in Jazz Studies, she has been based in New York ever since, appearing on stage as a vocalist and teaching. She also toured several states in America, including five on the east coast earlier this year.

Rudd is a renowned American jazz trombonist who has been voted trombonist of the year several times by the Jazz Journalists Association. According to Kim's Web site, the 71-year-old veteran musician spoke highly of Kim's vocal style. She is a ``fine and studied singer'' and in his music ``she handles the compositional demands with great eloquence and expertise, very sensitive to the musical and emotional demand of each song,'' he said.

In September, Korean fans will be able to listen to the rising Korean jazz vocalist live when she performs at the fourth Jarasum International Jazz Festival.