Korean artists presented the mix flavor of traditional Korean music and Jazz music

Swati Ranjan 

02nd March 2019, New Delhi: Renowned Korean artist Ms. Chae Ji Hye and her 8 members crew made her debut in India at 08th International Jazz Festival at Nehru Park, Chankyapuri, with her Geo-Koo-Ro(Go back) Project. It is a Korean pop jazz group that plays combined Korean traditional music with Jazz.  The motto of this band is, ‘Finding today’s solution from the past’, which means as Geo-Koo-Ro in Korean.  It has the meaning of ‘to make and play original music of this age inspired by the past music of Korea that resembles jazz very much in the sense of joy and improvisation, and reinterprets it in a modern way. The first regular album <GO BACK> was released in April of 2018.

Korean original musical sources are melted down with various music such as Latin, funk. The title song of this album is about nostalgia of childhood. Including that, eight more songs has different colors and stories one by one. The 1st album is composed of 2 types of Korean traditional vocal genre such as Pansori (Korean Mono Opera), Minyo (Folk songs). Through various musical attempts, this team makes Korean music more intimate to the public. As like Jazz, Korean traditional music has an improvisation called ‘Sinawee’ which is common value of two different music. By combining two different genres, they showed that Korean colored Jazz makes the world gets excited and amused.

Ms. Chae Ji Hye has been a performer and composer for 18 years in various fields such as jazz, pop music, and Korean music in Korea. In 2016, she started ‘Chae Ji Hye’ s GOBACK project and is actively pursuing original music style combining traditional Korean music and jazz.

The music of Chae Hye-s’ s GOBACK Project differs from other groups in that Korean traditional instruments and Western musical instruments are in harmony, and they have a sense of Korean traditional music. while playing jazz, she wanted to build a more personalized style of music  and thought it would be a good idea to experience Korean music through special occasions and to incorporate it into her music. The reason was very similar to jazz and traditional Korean music.

Just as jazz is a major element of improvisation, Korean traditional music has an improvisational music genre called ’Sinawi’.Talking more on this she says “In terms of joy and improvisation, we try to showcase the jazz that embodies Korea of this age through the subtle harmony of jazz and traditional music that resemble each other.”Jazz is music of communication and expression of freedom. Jazz has the most basic element, improvisation, and improvisation is a combination of composing and playing. It is the greatest feature and charm of jazz to be played instantly according to the situation and place, not the prepared music.

She further says “In Korea, the genre of jazz is still difficult and unfamiliar to the public. So, people who are somewhat unfamiliar with jazz are trying to make popular music and play music that they can sympathize with so that they can enjoy jazz easily. I think this musical intention will appeal to the audience in India. In addition, by showing the appearance of Korean traditional musical instruments, unique playing methods, and tones through our music, we hope to attract Indian audiences to Korean music and to inform Korean music. In order to communicate with more local audiences, the famous folk song of India was composed by repertoire in our own style.”

The original members are 8 people including vocals. In this concert, only 6 performers perform. 2 musicians playing Korean traditional music instruments (gold, salt, flute), Participates in the form of a jazz qualette (piano, guitar, drums, bass).The leader (JiHye) has been selected as a professional art creation support project by the 2018 Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation, and also selected as a promising artist by the Suwon Cultural Foundation. In 2018, the Arirang Festival and the National Assembly Concert was successfully held.Chae Ji Hye ‘s Geo-Koo-Ro(Go back) Project continuely builds a modern and unique music by combining Korean traditional music with jazz. With skillful performers and various musical attempts will be adding to open new possibilities of Korean music as world music.