Youn Sun Nah

Youn Sun Nah grew up in a musical family: her father was a conductor, her mother a classical singer. She made her musical debut as a singer at age 23 with a concert with the Korean Symphony Orchestra, and went on to perform in numerous Korean musicals on a national stage, for which she has received numerous awards. However, she did not find that musical environment fulfilling. She decided to go to Paris in 1995 to study jazz and French chanson at the CIM school (one of the oldest jazz schools in Europe), at the National Music Institute of Beauvais, and at the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Conservatory. Her innate talent for jazz revealed itself when she started playing in Parisian jazz clubs with her group, the Youn Sun Nah 5tet. She made her rounds on the Paris club scene, performances that would earn her invitations to work with many famous musicians. Youn Sun Nah made strong showing in a number of jazz competitions like La Défense, St. Maur, and Montmartre. She became the buzzword in theatres and festivals all over France, while also performing in Korea, essentially managing simultaneous careers in two countries. Producing five albums in six years, she held numerous performances in France, Europe, and in Asia including Korea. Such vigorous activity would earn her an award as “Best Artist” in the Crossover category in Korea in 2004. The same year, the release of So I Am… was widely celebrated by French audiences as well as the press, who regarded her as one of the most remarkable singers of this generation. Active touring and musical performances finally came to fruition in the form of the Grand Prize at the highly reputable Jazz à Juan Concours in 2005, in addition to the prize of Best Young Artist Of The Year in Korea. Youn Sun Nah established her position as a premiere jazz artist in the Asian music scene and marketplace with the album Memory Lane, co-produced with Denmark’s top pianist Niels Lan Doky and Korean bassist Kim Jeong-Ryul in 2007. She also earned recognition from the American media and noted personalities from around the world with an invitation and performance at the Jazz at Lincoln Center, which would launch her to world stardom. She is an artist who never fails to move audiences wherever she may be performing, in Europe, USA, Australia, and Asia. In 2009 ACT has signed her as an exclusive artist. Together with world-famous Swedish artists like Ulf Wakenius and Lars Danielsson she recorded her ACT-debut album, “Voyage”, released in 2009 followed by the album “Same Girl” in 2011.

Albums

Lento

Label: ACT
Distribution in France: harmonia mundi
Release date: March 12, 2013

With her universal yet individual style, Youn Sun Nah gives traditional vocal jazz a new flavour, while unconventionnaly and effortlessly exploring new exciting spaces. She is one of the most outstanding representatives of vocla jazz that includes the whole spectrum of contemporary music. Lento features Nah’s longstanding duet partner Ulf Wakenius on guitar, Lars Danielsson on bass and Xavier Desandre-Navarre on percussions. The fourth member of the band is new – the French accordion magician Vincent Peirani.

Youn Sun Nah - Lento

Same Girl

Label: ACT
Distribution in France: Harmonia Mundi
Release date: September 24, 2010

In Youn Sun Nah, someone with star quality has stepped onto the music scene, someone who is able to forge bridges in a truly unique way. The bridge between Asia and Europe for example, or between jazz, chanson and pop; between the highest technical precision and extreme musical freedom, between minimalism and exuberance and the bridge between the familiar and the unfamiliar.
With her new album “Same Girl” Youn Sun Nah is still on a musical voyage, exploring and experimenting with different musical styles and genres. Again the song material is very diverse, but she is still the same girl the audience has come to know and love, surprising the listener with songs that have been interpreted in highly individual and distinctive ways, and which break free from the usual stylistic constraints. “I didn’t want to be confined to a particular repertoire but reflect all possible moments of my life,” she explains. “That’s why I think the album is atmospherically much more diverse than “Voyage” and, in certain respects, it has more depth and reflects even more aspects of my personality.”
Youn Sun Nah’s new album embraces eleven fascinating song interpretations of a very special kind, her distinctive voice building the framework for her multi-faceted musical tastes. Styles and genres may change from tune to tune, but it is always the same girl you are listening to: Youn Sun Nah. Truly unique.

Youn Sun Nah - Same Girl

Voyage

Label: ACT
Release date: April 24, 2009

The exquisite quartet displays a distinctly Nordic element on the new album of Youn Sun Nah “Voyage”. It was a great inspiration for her. Whether she’s scatting, singing classical or rapping, Youn Sun Nah combines mystical and artistic elements of Korean singing with the imagination and purity of the French chanson, together with the energy and freedom of jazz. There are six of her own compositions on her album, ranging from melancholic ballads to intricate up-tempo tracks. For years Youn Sun Nah has been a great fan of Tom Waits. And what a wonderful contrast Youn Sun Nah’s ethereal version is to the smoky bass of Waits’ original. Voyage is a journey into the past and at the same time a promise for the future. It’s an impressive signature of one of the most exceptional singers of our time.
(Source Act label)

Youn Sun Nah - Voyage