"Jihye Lee is emerging as a strong voice in the 'next generation' of composers for large jazz ensemble.  Her music is imaginative and creative.  And she's not afraid to take some exciting chances in her writing.  I strongly urge you to check her out!"      - Jim McNeely


Jihye Lee, the 2018 BMI Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize and Manny Albam Commission winner, is a New York-based jazz composer, bandleader, and vocalist. She released her first orchestra album, April, in February 2017, with special guest musician Sean Jones, garnering global praise as a fresh original voice on the jazz composition scene.

The Jihye Lee Orchestra has performed at various places in New York, such as Symphony Space, Jazz Gallery, etc. Lee has presented her music in Washington D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, and South Korea at notable venues, including the Berklee Performance Center, Blue Whale, The Triple Door, Maria Callas Hall and DC JazzFest.

Lee graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music with numerous awards and scholarships, including the prestigious Duke Ellington Award, and learned from and worked with world-renowned faculty, such as Jim McNeely and Greg Hopkins. She has studied privately with multi-Grammy Award recipients Maria Schneider and Terrence Blanchard, and attended workshops with John Clayton and Robin Eubanks.

Lee continues to create original compositions, while performing, teaching, and working on commissions. Besides her orchestral work, she is planning to release her original duet album with pianists, Yoonseung Cho and Vardan Ovsepian, in late 2018..

Past Concerts

June 17, 2018 - The DC JazzFest International Jazz Stage @DC JassFest (Washington, DC)
June 15, 2018 - Jihye Lee Ensemble & Blake Meister Quartet @An Die Musik Live (Baltimore, MD)
March 27, 2018 - Jihye Lee Orchestra @The Jazz Gallery (New York, NY)
November 29, 2017 - Jazz Composers’ Showcase Vol. 10 @The Jazz Gallery (New York, NY)
August 3, 2017 - Jazz Composers’ Showcase Vol. 9 @The Jazz Gallery (New York, NY)
April 14, 2017 - Jihye Lee Orchestra @Symphony Space (New York, NY)
March 10, 2017 - Jihye Lee Orchestra @Redbig Space (Seoul, Korea)
February 8, 2017 - Jihye Lee Orchestra @The Blue Whale (Los Angeles, CA)
January 15, 2017 - Jihye Lee Orchestra @Bonafide (New York, NY)
October 13, 2016 - Jihye Lee Orchestra @ShapeShifter Lab (Brooklyn, NY)
August 10, 2016 - Jihye Lee Orchestra @마리아칼리스홀 (Seoul, Korea)
June 25, 2015 - Jihye Lee Orchestra @Kendall Square (Cambridge, MA)




Jihye Lee Orchestra ㅡ 'April'  


"With its chamber-like woodwind textures, involved harmony and sectional counterpoint, and persistent rhythmic drive, Lee's music fits comfortably within a resurgent large-ensemble format whose exponents include Maria Schneider, John Hollenbeck, Darcy James Argue, and Andrew Rathbun. But Lee also imbues her compositions withhan, an ineffable sadness that serves as a dramatic element in much Korean art - compare the Brazilian saudade or American blues."                                                                                 
ㅡ David Adler, Village Voice

"Lee certainly embraced that richness on her remarkable debut, which is redolent of the coloristic bravura of the Maria Schneider Orchestra and the narrative complexity of Jim McNeely's arrangement."
ㅡ Shaun Brady, Jazziz

Four stars: "...a musical triumph born of an unspeakable tragedy, thought-provoking and gut-wrenching all at once. The music sings, sobs, and soars in its unfolding, leaving the listener with a carefully-crafted reflection on the event(s) and a glimpse into Lee's emotional core....April is simply unforgettable."                                                            
ㅡ Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

"Not your typical big band music It's very original, very beautiful, and very well thought-out, well orchestrated music." 
ㅡ Greg Hopkins

"Jihye Lee is emerging as a strong voice in the next generation of composers for large jazz ensemble. Her music is imaginative and creative, and she's not afraid to take some exciting chances in her writing." 
ㅡ Jim McNeely




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