Coming to Flushing Town Hall for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Korean Folk Meets Jazz featuring SE:UM

This Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, on Saturday, May 11, audiences at Flushing Town Hall will be able to step into the unique world of SE:UM, a quintet from Seoul playing a fusion of jazz and Korean traditional music.

Led by Joon Lee, recipient of the esteemed 2023 KBS Korean Traditional Music Award for his mastery of the Gayageum (a traditional Korean musical instrument), this powerhouse ensemble united through the pulsating beats of ancient folk tunes and shamanistic rhythms. Others in the quintet are saxophonist Hachul Song, trumpeter Jongsang Park, bassist Jaeha Lee, and traditional percussionist Hanmin Cho. Through years of collaboration, they've harmonized their individual styles, dismantling barriers between genres to craft a unique musical tapestry.

"We are so excited to bring SE:UM's extraordinary fusion sounds to our stage in the diverse borough of Queens, " says Ellen Kodadek. Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall, a Smithsonian affiliate. "This concert combines the best of two worlds, both of which our 45-year-old organization is extremely proud to present: world music and jazz!"

SE:UM's meteoric rise began with its debut album that earned nominations for Best Crossover Album and Best Jazz & Crossover Performance at the Korea Music Awards in 2015. Venturing across continents, the group has broken musical barriers with diverse collaborations that redefine innovation in music. Recognized as a Choice Artist by prominent international performing arts markets such as the Performing Arts Market in Seoul (PAMS) and Asia Pacific Music Meeting (APaMM), a captivating stage presence enchanted audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015, earning an outstanding five-star review.

SE:UM had its U.S. debut at the DC Jazz Festival in 2016, and now is returning to North America for a 2024 tour. Performances will showcase the quintet's globally acclaimed performances, highlighting tracks from their latest albums, 'The Sense of Water' and 'Korean Breath: Ten Thousand Waves.'

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