Home / Articles/Interviews / Articles / Youn Sun Nah
A+ R A-
02 Feb

Youn Sun Nah

Rate this item
(0 votes)

"a UFO touching the universe of jazz with a magnificent voice and passionate originality; Jubilation in triple time" Le Monde

Since she moved to Paris in 1995, Korean jazz singer Youn Sun Nah has won over French and Korean audiences alike with her rather special voice; dramatic, sensuous and bluesy. Before arriving in France, the singer had not listened to jazz, which is not entirely surprising given the lack of exposure to the music in Korea. In Paris, she was introduced to the music of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. “I love Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, I could never do the kind of things they've already done. So, I'm doing my stuff, trying to do my own thing," Sun Nah says. Doing her own thing has characterized Sun Nah's career to date. Nah’s innate talent for jazz began to shine brighter when she started performing extensively in the French jazz scene with her group YSN 5tet at jazz clubs, national theatres and festivals. News of this Korean marvel reached many famous musicians who were excited to collaborate with her. She gradually built a reputation in the capital and beyond, drawing the attention of French label Blue Note, who offered her a seven-year deal. Though most artists would give an arm and a leg for such a contract, Sun Nah declined the offer. "They wanted me to do a different thing and to have more influence over my music; I didn't want that," she says. "What I wanted most was musical freedom. That doesn't mean that they tried to force me to sing music I didn't like–just at that time, I really wanted to do something different.”

Many venues and festivals across the globe also recognize Nah’s talents. She has been invited to perform at numerous events such as Jazz at Lincoln Center (New York), International Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival (Canada), Parc Floral de Paris (France), Marciac Jazz Festival (France), Mai Jazz Festival (Norway), Cully Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Java Jazz Festival (Indonesia), Penang Island Jazz Festival (Malaysia) and Jarasum International Jazz Festival (South Korea), among many others


Nah’s current project sees her collaborating with Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius. The stripped down format provides ample of space for the two talented musicians to improvise and explore the many facets of jazz. The vocal prowess of Youn Sun Nah and Ulf Wakenius’ prolific guitar skills complement each other amazingly well. Their unique musical chemistry allows them to traverse different musical aspects, creating very interesting musical dialogues. To date, the duo has released two albums under top German jazz label ACT, Voyage (2009) and Same Girl (2010). The Voyage project has toured over 19 countries and 50 cities. The last studio album Same Girl will surely surpass that success


Selected Discography

Youn Sun Nah, Same Girl (ACT, 2010)

Youn Sun Nah, Voyage (ACT, 2009)

Youn Sun Nah, Memory Lane (Seoul Records, 2007)

Youn Sun Nah 5Tet, So I Am (ICG, 2004)

Youn Sun Nah, Down By Love (Sony Music, 2003)

Youn Sun Nah 5Tet, Light For The People (ICG, 2002)

Youn Sun Nah, Reflet (Sony Music, 2001)


Last modified on Friday, 24 February 2012 13:12

Related Video