30 September 1.30pm, Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho
2 October 7.45pm, Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLRxO9AmNNo
Glam folk/rock band SsingSsing, who open the 5th K-Music Festival in London, have announced a second show on 30 September at Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho. After their debut in 2015, their Tiny Desk Concert on America’s National Public Radio went viral and fans have been eagerly awaiting their European concerts ever since.
SsingSsing’s performances are theatrical and unusual - they perform traditional Korean folk songs passed around orally in ancient times (known as minyo), synthesised with guitars, bass and drums. The band is made up of three minyo vocalists – the incredible Heemoon Lee, in his trademark Afro wig, fabulous outfits, fluffy eyelashes and heels, singer and theatre actress Dahye Chhu and percussionist/singer Seungtae Shin plus bassist Younggyu Jang, guitarist Taewon Lee and drummer Chuhee Lee.
Heemoon Lee is well-known in Korea, having studied under the famous minyo singer ChunHee Lee. At last year’s K-Music Festival he performed ‘Korean Man’ with jazz group Prelude, taking a hilarious and witty look at male/female roles today. Heemoon is inspired by the shamanistic tradition in his performances. He explains, “as mediums they (male shamans) need more than a single sexual identity, because they’re channelling both male and female spirits. When I act a female character and sing, I have to overcome the fact of my being a male sorikkun (singer) and try my utmost to bring a more neutral, unisex feeling to the performance.”
SsingSsing’s composer and bassist, Younggyu Jang, has worked with avant-garde band UhUhBoo Project (who performed at K-Music in 2013) and as Music Director for films including the highly acclaimed action movie, Train to Busan (2016), The Wailing (2016) and The Thieves (2012) as well as with the Eun-Me Ahn Dance Company’s ‘Let Me Change Your Name’.
SsingSsing will open this year’s K-Music festival with one of their most popular songs ‘Noraegarak’ (Singing Melody): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgMqMUIeLgI\
K-Music 2018 runs until 20th November and is presented by the Korean Cultural Centre UK in partnership with Serious.
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