Author: Yoon

Owls At Night

Owls At Night


Over the past year I have created a new trio with violinist Dana Lyn and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza. This is a completely new thing for me because I not only singing but also playing the piano and composing all the music. THIS IS BIG! Not to get into too many details but in a previous post, I talk about not playing piano for almost 15 years (yup). I started to play again about six years ago and I have finally mustered up the courage to play in public! This trio is the result of my courage.

Dan Loomis: Jobs Trials

Dan Loomis: Jobs Trials

Tomorrow night at 8:00pm, I’m performing Dan Loomis’ Jobs Trials at Ibeam in Brooklyn.

This music is based on the bible’s Book of Job. There are great musicians performing alongside with me. A wonderful singer out on the scene from Korea, Songyi Jeon, great guitarist, Jeff Miles, Nathan Ellman-Bell on drums (where did this guy come from? Awesome!), the all inspiring leader,composer and bassist, Dan Loomis and yours truly on voice.
Howard Fishman is our narrator and there will be some beautiful artwork by Sean Gallagher.

This is going to be epic!

Listen Here

Listen Here

You can check out some of my music here:

Track 1: Coming Home is a piece I wrote for my first recording “Soulmates” 2001
Track 2: Not Much Of A Dog is from my third recording
“Imagination:The Music From Joe Raposo” 2008
Track 3: Facsar is an excerpt from a composition by Luciano Berio.
I am improvising while violist Miranda Sielaff plays the composition 2009
Track 4: Happiness Hotel from “Imagination:The Music From Joe Raposo”2008
Track 5: Blackberry Winter – a live concert recording with pianist, Jacob Sacks from Bennington College 2014
Track 6: Sorry is a piece I wrote for this live recording with
Dan Weiss, Jacob Garchik, Dave Ambrosia and Jacob Sacks, “4inObjects” 2006
Track 7: Bein’ Green from “Imagination:The Music From Joe Raposo” 2008

All of these recordings have no overdubs or edits.

Ten Days Till Carnegie Hall

Ten Days Till Carnegie Hall

I still can’t believe that in 10 days I will be on stage at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall singing. Ok, I have been blessed before and I have sung at Carnegie Hall in 2015 and 2014 but you see, it still blows me away every time I think about it.

I have had my struggles with health especially close to performance time. Last year, it was a miracle that I sang a concert. I was so sick that I could barely talk two days before. Some how I managed to get through it but got laryngitis two days after (but hey, that’s ok! – I did it)

This year, I am having some of the worst allergies and I am mildly freaked out by the possibility of getting laryngitis from the post nasal nastiness that allergies bring on.

So I am praying to all the gods, getting lots of rest and hoping that the voice will dominate rather than the allergy.

Here’s to optimistic wishing!

2016 Fear Less

2016 Fear Less

Here I am writing my first blog entry of 2016. I always hesitate to write anything because I often end up not completing the post or deciding in the end it isn’t worth publishing.

I confess, I am a fearful person. For as long as I can remember, I was always the smallest, and always scared. I guess that’s how I became the loudest. I needed and wanted to be heard. For all my bluster though, I was often terrified.

I think my loudness was to mask the terror I felt inside. My fear affected everything from doubting my abilities as a musician and artist, to not doing well in school, failing in sports and building copious amounts of social anxiety during my teenage years (and parts of my adult years too). Fear can stop you from living big parts of your life.

Fear doesn’t completely prevent me from performing and making music (thank goodness!) but it does dominate aspects of my career. To give you an example, it takes me forever to compose works. I am so terrified that the pieces I write will be so awful that I would never perform them in public. So why bother writing them? That’s a terrible way to live.

Ironically, I constantly preach to my voice and piano students to let go of their fear in order to be free to improvise without inhibition and to produce a beautiful relaxed sound and be creative.

As 2016 was approaching, I decided that this year, I would be fearless. Realistically I just want to fear less. I don’t want my fear to overcome my desire to do something that will enrich my life. Writing a blog post is a good example of something I’d like to be able to do without fear driving me to the brink of giving up.

My first “fear-less” act of 2016 is posting my very first video on Youtube. I am improvising on the piano. This is huge for me. I was on a 15 year hiatus from the piano. Just over 4 years ago I started studying and practicing the piano seriously again. I have finally come to terms with my classical training and my jazz improvising. I am now starting to find a balance with both. I love playing the piano. I love improvising. I realize that I don’t need to play in either a so called jazz or classical style. I just want to play music. I want to spontaneously create. I want to express myself in the most honest way that I can. I feel like now after so many years, I have found my voice

As this particular blog entry has taken almost one week to write, I have posted another video of myself improvising on toy piano. Over this year, I plan to post a video every week. I will do lots of improvising on the piano and voice. I will be doing some interviews with some incredible artists and I will sing a lot.

I hope that you will follow me on my journey to “fear-less” this year. I don’t know what I will discover about myself but I am genuinely excited to find out.

My First Video

My First Video

Ok, I did it.

I made my first video. This is a big deal for me since I haven’t ever posted a video of myself let alone one of me playing the piano.

For those who do not know, I was a classical pianist before I devoted my time to singing. I took a long hiatus from playing and performing on the piano. I am now back at it.

Stay tune for more!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Hello 2016!

I have big plans for you 2016. I am going to be fearless. That’s my mantra for this year.


Stay tuned!

Mark Murphy (b. March 14, 1932 – d. October 22, 2015)

Mark Murphy (b. March 14, 1932 – d. October 22, 2015)

I am saying goodbye to the great jazz vocalist, Mark Murphy. Mark passed away today.

Mark Murphy was the first vocalist that I heard who had a unique sound. A freedom in his voice that really inspired me to find that freedom in myself.

Many years ago, I attended a masterclass Mark was conducting at Berklee College of Music. I was impressed by his efficiency when using his voice. It sounds calculated but I assure you it wasn’t. I appreciated the advice that he gave each student. I also liked his candor when speaking. It was straight to the point. He talked a lot about how the body is used poorly when singing. I notice singers contort and move their bodies in ways that seem to hinder rather than help their performance. At times I know that I move around more than is necessary. It was helpful to hear a great artist like Mark Murphy tell it like it is.

Mark Murphy I will miss you greatly.

I Am Playing Carnegie Hall!

I Am Playing Carnegie Hall!

The title says it all folks. I am playing Carnegie Hall on March 25th, 8:00pm at the Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Can I tell you that I’m excited? I am excited!! I hope you buy a ticket cause it’s going to be a blast!

See you in two weeks!

Buy tickets here

Shows To Check Out Before 2014 Ends!

Shows To Check Out Before 2014 Ends!

We are coming into our last two weeks of 2014 (holy crap!) There are some great performances that I highly recommend you all to go see.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 8:30pm

Jesse Stacken‘s Helleborus CD Release Concert
Jesse Stacken – piano and compositions
Tony Malaby – saxophone
Sean Conly – bass
Tom Rainey – drums

Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street
New York, NY 10014

This show will be wonderful. Look at that line up! Jesse is a fabulous pianist who writes wonderful compositions. If you have a chance, check out his website here.

Friday, December 19, 2014, 7:30pm

Lyra Faculty perform at Tenri
Mu Phi Epsilon Founders’ Day Recital

Tenri Cultural Institute
43 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

Akiko Sasaki – piano
Marc Szammer – violin
Andrew Janss – cello

This performance is going to be awesome. This trio will be performing the monstrous Rachmaninoff Élégiaque Trio No. 2, Op.9. (Akiko did a run through for me at my place many months ago. I thought my piano was going to fall apart!) A must see!

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 9:00pm

Jacob Sacks Quintet

Jacob Sacks – piano, compositions
Jacob Garchik – trombone
Ben Gerstein – trombone
Thomas Morgan – bass
Dan Weiss – drums

Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street
New York, NY 10014

I am totally bummed that I won’t be seeing this quintet on Saturday (holiday travel *sigh*) This quintet has been around for as long as I have been in NYC. This is a special group and should be experienced by everyone! Go check it out.

Friday and Saturday, December 26 and 27, 9:00pm

Open Loose

Tony Malaby – tenor saxophone
Mark Helias – bass
Tom Rainey – drums

Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street
New York, NY 10014

Look at the line up! Enough said…

Sunday,December 28th,2014, 7:00pm

Ras Moshe-Reeds & Flute
Kyoko Kitamura-Voice
Joe Gallant-Bass
Reuben Radding-Bass
Sean Conly-Bass

(8:30pm-Steve Gauci-Ken Filiano-Yoni Kretzmer-Michael Wimberly)

Why Not Jazz Room
14 Christopher St. NYC

For you free improvising jazz folk out there, this performance will be up your alley. With three bass players in the band, it’s gonna get deep. Check out the next band after Ras’ project. (I worked with Michael Wimberly this past semester up in Vermont and he is awesome!)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 8:30pm

Tom Rainey Trio

Tom Rainey – drums
Mary Halvorson – guitar
Ingrid Laubrock – tenor saxophone

Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street
New York, NY 10014

Tom Rainey is one of my favorite drummers and musician and Mary and Ingrid are superb. Go and check it out.

Ok, that’s all folks. I hope to catch one of these before I go on holidays and I hope you check some of them out too. These performances are not to be missed.

Enjoy the music and happy holidays!!

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