Youn Sun Nah is well regarded for her remarkable vocal prowess. The Korean jazz vocalist’s ability to present each song in her own unique style filled full of emotions and passion has consistently captured her audience in attentive silence, ending with roaring appreciation. The songstress traverse the vocal spectrum effortlessly to the extent where she’s not just another vocalist, she’s a musical instrument.
Growing up in a musical family where her father was a conductor and her mother, a musical actress, music has always been in her life. Nah eventually began her own musical journey and made her first debut at the tender age of 23 at a joint concert collaborating with the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Though Nah was making waves in the Korean music scene, she decided to move to Paris in 1995 to study jazz and chanson. Striving for only the best, she enrolled herself into the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Conservatory. Nah’s innate talent for jazz began to shine brighter when she started performing extensively in the French jazz scene with her group YSN 5tet at jazz clubs, national theatres and festivals.
News of this Korean marvel reached many famous musicians who were excited to collaborate with her. Her 2009 album ‘Voyage’ made it into the French top ten of the jazz charts and won the coveted “CHOC” as CD of the month (Jazzman). One of her paramount recognitions comes from the French government where she was conferred the title Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of her contributions to the arts in 2009. Many venues and festivals across the globe also recognize Nah’s talents. She has been invited to perform at numerous events such as Jazz at Lincoln Center (New York), International Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival (Canada), Marciac Jazz Festival (France), Java Jazz Festival (Indonesia), and Jarasum International Jazz Festival (South Korea), among many others.
The impressive travel is further reinforced by a world tour with Ulf Wakenius that visited 50 cities in 19 countries. Nah’s current project sees her collaborating with Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius. The stripped down format provides ample of space for the two talented musicians to improvise and explore the many facets of jazz. The vocal prowess of Youn Sun Nah and Ulf Wakenius’ prolific guitar skills complement each other amazingly well. Their unique musical chemistry allows them to traverse different musical aspects, creating very interesting musical dialogues. To date, the duo has released two albums under top German jazz label ACT, Voyage (2009) and Same Girl (2010). Michel Contat from French Media Company Telerama exclaims, “Delicious is the word that comes to mind when you listen to Youn Sun Nah. But the young Korean is also moving, radiant, sometimes funny, always sensual, a spicy creature of the night.”