Black String

Korean Contemporary Improvisational Music.  

2018 Songlines Music Awards Winner: Asia & South Pacific

2017 KOREAN MUSIC AWARD WINNER: Best Jazz and Crossover Performance

2016 WOMEX Official Showcase Group

“Towering, Hypnotic, Psychedelic Korean Postrock Majesty” - New York Music Daily

“An engaging exploration of what can be achieved by bringing ancient and modern into creative fusion” - Jazzwise

“The audience holds their breath as instruments get tuned.” - Giulia Pratico, HJA!

Black String seeks a new sound that can incorporate a variety of expressions in traditional music, as well as harmonize with other expression in world music.  This new sound will be interpreted by artists who embrace traditional music as well as jazz, reflecting both composed and improvised creations.  The group features Yoon Jeong Heo (geomungo), Jean Oh (electric guitar), Aram Lee (daegeum, yanggeum) and Min Wang Hwang (ajaeng, janggu),  Black String especially focuses on improvisation as an important aspect of Korean traditional music and attempts to create a unique language through Asian intuition and musical idiom.

The group was founded in 2011 as part of government sponsored Korea-UK cultural exchange program titled “UK Connection.” Black String has performed at WOMEX 2016, London Jazz Festival, Winter Jazzfest, and many more world renowned festivals and venues. As the band performs, amplified bursts of sound of the geomungo (6-stringed zither) and Korean bamboo flutes, the fierce quake of Korean traditional percussion, and unpredictable melody of jazz guitar will grasp all your senses.

A virtuoso of Korean traditional music, Yoon Jeong Heo is a lively and insightful geomungo player. Her talents cut across various musical genres, expanding the possibilities of geomungo and Korean music by bringing together elements of traditional, improvisational and contemporary music.  Heo has held  solo recitals since 1998 and has performed numerous times  in Korea, Germany, France, the UK,  USA, and many other countries. Heo has broadened her musical spectrum by collaborating with prominent artists like Stephan Micus. She has performed at  Rudolstadt World Music Festival in Germany (2009), WOMEX opening concert in Copenhagen (2010), and the UN's International Telematic Music Concert for Peace (2010), to name a few.  Heo spent six months in New York after being selected by the Rockefeller Foundation as a resident artist for the Asian Cultural Council New York for 2007/2008.  She joined three jazz musicians during her tenure to form “The Tori Ensemble”.