NAVIGATOR Artist in Residence So-Young Yoon announced for An Grianán this June, 2024

So-Young Yoon is our Improvised Music Company musician in residence for 2024.

Improvised Music Company (IMC) and An Grianán are delighted to announce pianist and composer So-Young Yoon as their first musician in residence for the 2024 NAVIGATOR residency programme.

So-Young Yoon is a jazz pianist and composer currently residing in Dublin. She acquired her B.Mus Jazz Performance from Newpark Music Centre in 2008, M.Phil Music Composition from Trinity College Dublin in 2017 and Licentiate Teaching Diploma from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2019, with a distinction in performance. She has been actively participating in the Dublin jazz scene since 2008, having frequently performed at legendary jazz club J.J. Smyth’s, both as a band leader and guest musician, and has collaborated with most of the leading jazz musicians in Dublin. In 2011, So-Young led a six-piece ensemble at the National Concert Hall’s John Field Room, presenting creative arrangements of Thelonious Monk’s music that incorporated classical influences and various rhythmical technique. This sold-out performance garnered positive recognition and critical acclaim. In 2012, she returned to the John Field Room with her piano trio to perform the music of Wayne Shorter.

As an educator, she has been teaching in Walton’s School of Music since 2008, running both group and individual classes.

Ahead of her Navigator residency, So-Young said:

“Our minds aren’t just confined to our brains, but our whole body. The environments we inhabit and the minds of people we interact with, altogether form as the integral parts of our minds. With Navigator, a wonderful opportunity created by the IMC and An Grianán, I think I am about to experience the extension of mind in this beautiful town, Letterkenny. Thanks to the support from An Grianán and Donegal Partnership, I was able to organise an improvisation workshop. In particular, I am excited about collaborating with Donegal fiddle virtuoso/composer Seamus Gibson. I am writing piano arrangements on his compositions and I can’t wait to see how my non-traditional approach will sound with his playing.”

Patricia McBride, An Grianán’s director said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming So-Young Yoon, whose accomplishments as a Jazz pianist and composer are world class, to An Grianán Theatre for her Navigator Residency. The residency offers us an exciting opportunity to share her work with Donegal audiences and given her fascination with the rich heritage of Donegal fiddle tradition, we will create exciting partnerships with her and our traditional Irish musicians here in Donegal. Her generosity in sharing her knowledge through improvisation workshops will be a huge benefit to musicians here as well.”

IMC’s Navigator Jazz Residency programme was established in 2021. Since then 15 musicians have enjoyed bespoke residencies through venue partners Ballina Arts Centre, The Source Arts Centre Thurles, An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny, Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge and Courthouse Arts Tinahely and Garter Lane, Waterford.

NAVIGATOR offers jazz and improvising musicians professionally remunerated time and space to develop and perform work, while building creative and professional relationships in new locations.

The NAVIGATOR residency programme is part of IMC’s commitment to further develop the national scene for jazz and improvised music, improve artist touring mobility, develop audiences nationwide, and develop creative opportunities and fruitful new relationships for musicians.

The 2024 Navigator jazz residency programme has been expanded to 7 partners across the island of Ireland, with Garter Lane, Waterford, Riverbank Theatre, Newbridge and Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast joining the initial 4 other partners.

An Grianán’s previous IMC Navigator artists were Conor McAuley, Olesya Zdorovetska and Cormac McCarthy.

Improvised Music Company

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