Okkyung Lee : cello

Okkyung LwwA native of Korea, Okkyung Lee has been devel­op­ing her own voice in a con­tem­po­rary cel­lo per­for­mance and impro­vi­sa­tion. Using her clas­si­cal train­ing as a spring­board, she incor­po­rates jazz, sounds, Kore­an tra­di­tion­al music, and noise with extend­ed tech­niques.

Since mov­ing to New York in 2000, she has per­formed and record­ed with numer­ous artists such as Derek Bai­ley, Jaap Blonk, Nels Cline, Antho­ny Cole­man, Mark Dress­er, Shel­ley Hirsch, Susie Ibar­ra, Vijay Iyer, Eyvind Kang, Alon­zo King, Chris­t­ian Mar­clay, Raz Mesinai, Min Xiao-Fen, Thurston Moore, Ikue Mori, Lawrence D. “Butch” Mor­ris, Jim O’Rourke, Zeena Parkins, Marc Ribot, Mari­na Rosen­feld, Elliott Sharp and John Zorn to name a few.

In addi­tion to fre­quent solo per­for­mances and lead­ing her own ensem­bles, she is involved with TOT Trio with per­cus­sion­ist Tim Barnes and turntab­list Toshio Kaji­wara; an impro­vi­sa­tion­al duo NoNo Twins with dancer/choreographer Heather Kravas; Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd’s “In What Lan­guage?” project and Burnt Sug­ar Arkestra Cham­ber, among many oth­ers.

In 2005, her music result­ed in three releas­es: Nihm (TZK 7715), a com­pi­la­tion of her com­po­si­tions on John Zorn’s Tzadik label; solo cel­lo album on Thurston Moore’s Ecsta­t­ic Peace label; and a duo album with tape wiz­ard Aki Onda on Impro­vised Music from Japan label.

Notable appear­ances include Inter­na­tion­al Fes­ti­val Musique Actuelle Vic­to­ri­av­ille, Cana­da with Thurston Moore, Off New York! con­cert series in Ger­many with her new project paper chase trio Raz Mesinai and Shel­ley Bur­gon. 2004 San Fran­cis­co Jazz Fes­ti­val, 2004 Tak­t­los Fes­ti­val in Zürich and Basel, Switzer­land, 2003 la Bien­nale di Venezia in Italy, and Time Based Arts Fes­ti­val in Port­land, Ore­gon in 2003.

Okkyung holds dual bachelor’s degrees in film scoring/contemporary writ­ing & pro­duc­tion from Berklee Col­lege of Music, and master’s degree in con­tem­po­rary impro­vi­sa­tion from New Eng­land Con­ser­va­to­ry of Music.