Tag Archives: South Korea

Artist Profiles: Tanemotion


Tanemotion is a Korean genre-crossover band featuring a mix traditional Korean musical instruments and modern instruments. The band’s name “Tanemotion” is a composite, meaning Tan+emotion. “Tan” is a Korean word similar to “play”, especially used in playing traditional strings.

Tanemotion’s sound features jazz, pansori and Korean roots. Since 2010, they have played at rock, jazz and world music festivals.

Tanemotion at the 2019 Jeonju International Sori Festival – Photo by Angel Romero

Lineup: Yonrimog on keyboards; Sojin Kim on vocals and guitar; Seulji Kim on ajeng; So yeop Kim on piri, saenghwang (mouth organ) and taepyeongso (shawm); Hoduhk Suh on drums; and HyunSoo Kim on bass.


Tan+Emotion (2014)
휘청 (2016)
Miryade Wave


Artist Profiles: Kwon Soon Kang

Kwon Soon Kang is a leading vocalist in traditional and contemporary music in Korea. She has dedicated herself to performing and perfecting both Korean traditional court vocal music (jeongga) and contemporary music.

She has performed widely throughout Korea and abroad, working with many composers, dancers and theater companies, ensembles and orchestras, including the National Orchestra, the Seoul Metropolitan Traditional Orchestra, the Kim Duksoo Samulnori Group, and the Nan Kye Traditional Ensemble.

Kwon Soon Kang has also appeared in performances directed by international art directors Ong Keng Sen, Jinhi Kim, and Chen Shi-Zeng, working with traditional and contemporary artists from around the world.

Ms. Kang released her first jeongga album, Sounds of Heaven, in 2004, and recorded with the Kim Duksoo Samulnori Group. She has also received prizes at the Dong-A Competition and the Seoul Traditional Music Festival sponsored by Korean Broadcasting System (KBS).


Artist Profiles: Yoon Jeong Heo

Yoon Jeong Heo

Yoon Jeong Heo, the leader of Tori Ensemble, is an enthusiastic soloist who cuts across various musical genres, expanding the possibilities of geomungo and Korean music. Heo graduated from the National High School of Korean Traditional Music and received her B.A. and M.A. from Seoul National University.

In 1984, Yoon Jeong Heo initiated her study of geomungo sanjo, with the Living National Treasure Han Gap Duk, obtaining the significant master title “yisuja.”

Heo served as the deputy concertmaster of the Seoul Metropolitan Korean Music Orchestra from 1990 to 1994. She has performed with the German artist Stephan Micus, the San José Chamber Orchestra, and toured Europe, the US, China, and Japan. She was awarded a Ministry of Culture prize in 2008 in the field of Korean traditional music, as well as a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council.


Artist Profiles: Baraji


Baraji is a Korean band known for its mystical shows featuring folkloric music, singing, dancing and costumes. Baraji presents exceptional improvisation.

In traditional Korean music, Sinawi, the word Baraji is often used to describe improvised singing in harmony. Baraji’s performances derive from a Korean shamanic tradition known as Jindo Ssitgim Gut. This ceremony is used to cleanse the spirit of a deceased person. Since ancient times, there is a Korean belief that when somebody dies, their body cannot enter the world of the dead because of the impurity of their spirit. The Ssitgim Gut washes away this impurity.

In 2018, the lineup included Han Seung-seok, Artistic Director; Kim Byung-keuk, Sound Director; Kang Min-su on percussion; Kim Tae-young on percussion; Cho Soung-jae on ajaeng; Jeong Kwang-yoon on daegeum; Kim Yul-hee on vocals; Oh Young-bin on piri; Kim Min-young on gayageum; and Won Na-kyungdlal ek on haegeum.


Artist Profiles: Lim Ji Hye

Lim Ji Hye

A key artist of the world music group Duobud, Lim Ji Hye presents rhythmically delicate yet energetic performances on the gayageum, the Korean zither.

Through works such as Duobud’s signature repertory Over the Stars (별빗위로) and Boundary (경계), she has been experimenting with never-before-seen ways of playing the gayageum.

With Korean traditional rhythms as the foundation, she is making music that presents the diverse aspects of her instrument.


Artist Profiles: Lee Hye Joong

Specializing in Korean double-reed wind instruments including piri, taepyeongso, and jangsaenap, Lee Hye Joong is a promising new performer in the Korean traditional performance arts, orchestral music, and folk music scenes. She endeavors to develop her own performance style through her diverse experiences.

Through the interplay of percussion and wind instruments, she aspires to create yet another approach and to expand her presence in the world music scene.


Artist Profiles: Hyun Seunghun

Hyun Seunghun is a Korean traditional Percussionist, leader of the Hyun Seunghun Korean Traditional Performance Arts Company, North Jeolla Province Intangible Cultural Asset No. 7-2 Jeongeup Nongak Ambassador, and Samulnori Hanullim Senior Member.

His major works include True Colors of Korean Traditional Performance Arts (연희본색), Homage to Samulnori, Samul the Special, and LIGHT:BEAT (빛:BEAT). Selected every year as essential arts enterprises, his works have been recognized for their artistic value several times.

He continues to improve his craft while reinterpreting Korea’s traditional performance arts in a modern way.


Artist Profiles: Kim So Ra

Kim So Ra

Korean percussionist Kim So Ra has played the hourglass-shaped, two-headed drum known as janggu since she was a child. In high school she became a leading prize-winner at folk festivals and cultural competitions, going on to eventually to achieve her Master of Korean Music degree in 2012. Since then she has been taking groundbreaking steps to modernize perceptions within traditional Korean music.

Her 2013 visit to Chicago to collaborate with musicians of diverse backgrounds was fundamental. She named the project ‘The Modernization and Globalization of the Janggu’, returning the following year for the Janggu Rhythm Connection project.

In Korea, she formed the first all-female traditional arts performance group, Norikkot, as well as the electronic/ traditional fusion band, nuMori. In her performances, she explores new rhythmic concepts with traditional Korean instruments.

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Kim was selected as the only Korean solo percussionist to perform at the official showcase of the World Music Expo, WOMEX 2018, and the 2018 Mundial Montreal World Music Summit.


Artist Profiles: Dulsori


The fundamental basis of Dulsori’s creative work is through various Korean percussion instruments. Since the beginning of Dulsori this group has tried many different kinds of performances based on the traditional rhythms of Korea. As a result, Dulsori has developed unique performances and interactive programs which encourage audience members to take part in the performances.

Dulsori believes in creating a sense of community and understands the existence and importance of communal values in every culture. Dulsori’s performances and interactive programs attempt to build harmony and unity between the audience members and performers, thereby forming a sense of harmony.

Dulsori (literally wild beat) was formed in 1984 and primarily aims to rekindle the spirit of ancient festival sharing the inner-energy through the art form that can enrich our life. “Festival is the place where everyone’s energy mingles together creating a sense of pleasure in a collective manner. Dulsori can never reach this dream alone and that’s why we always invite the audience to join the show.

The fundamental basis of our creative work is a Korean percussion play. Since the beginning of Dulsori, we have tried many different kinds of performances based on the traditional rhythm of Korea. As a result, we have developed unique performances and interactive programs. We believe that creating a sense of community is important in any cultures.




Our performances and interactive programs attempt to build harmony and unity of community among the audience members and performers.

Our energetic and passionate team has staged hundreds of international performances and toured Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Israel, Africa and across Europe. We also conduct workshops, classes and camps on Korean traditional arts and are open to all age groups.”

Ha, Taekhu – percussion
Lee, Kyuhyun – percussion
Jun, Hyunsook – Percussion
Lee, Eunbi – vocals, pansori singer
Oh, Hyuna – geomungo
Yang, Jeongyoon – gayageum
Shin, Myeongook – daegeum


Eternal Memory (Dulsori, 2007)
Korean Drums (Arc Music, 2012)


Artist Profiles: Easternox


Easternox is a Korean world music band, quite different from ordinary Korean music bands that only play chamber music and existing arrangements. Inspired by a wide spectrum of traditional rhythms, the band’s music has been drawing great attention from the fusion and traditional Korean music scene.

By leading the musical evolution of Korea’s traditional music and fusing modern and traditional instruments together, Easternox has opened the door to brand new Korea-born world music and continues to produce energetic performances that people from all around the world can listen to and identify with.

The essence of the traditional Korean arts is recreated for the 21st century. Easternox’s musicians believe that by far the most appealing and creative element of the Korean music are Korean rhythms. The group composes new pieces based on various rhythms of Korean traditional music, such as 6-Chae, 7-Chae, 5-Chae. Taryeong, Hwacheong, Ujilgut, Jwajilgut, etc

The name Easternox is a shortening of Eastern and Equinox symbolizing the oriental nature of our music together with the two days each year when day and night are of equal length. Though balancing the new and the old. east and west, the name of our group nonetheless indicates that our roots are firmly grounded in Korea.

Easternox musicians: Mina Park on daegeum (Korean wind instrument); Noo Ry Lee on keyboards; Young Jin Choi on Korean percussion; and Suk Jin Lee on Korean percussion, composition and drums.