Jazz pianist Hey Rim Jeon has just released Introducing Hey Rim Jeon, her first set for N-Coded Music. The CD is distributed by RED, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. Reflecting the broad range of Jeon’s influences and her own contemporary improvisational style, the album is comprised of six original tracks and four re- imaginings of songs from the likes of jazz great Chick Corea (“Spain”), classical composer Claude Debussy (“Claire de Lune”), an instrumental version of the Sigmund Romberg standard “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise,” as well as a traditional folk song from her native Korea, “Arirang.” Recorded in New York, Japan and Boston and produced by Jeon, the album also features performances from 2012 Grammy winner Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, Dave Liebman on saxophones, James Genus on bass and Richie Barshay on percussion.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Hey Rim Jeon started playing piano at the early age of four, and by nine was giving her first public performances in classical music. As a teenager, influenced by the dazzling improvisation of Oscar Peterson, Hey Rim decided to embark on a musical path that would both support her new found passion for jazz, and build upon her already formidable classical training.
In September of 1997, Hey Rim came to Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, to pursue her contemporary music education. Studying at the college gave her the opportunity to learn from jazz greats such as JoAnne Brackeen, Laszlo Gardony and Ray Santisi. While a student at Berklee, she received the piano department’s prestigious ‘Piano Chair’ Award for jazz performance. After completing her Bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude in 2001, Hey Rim continued her studies, and received a Masters of Music degree with Academic Honors in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2004. While at the conservatory, she studied with Ran Blake, George Garzone and Michael Cain, whose influence opened her eyes to new and fascinating areas of music performance, from avant-garde to world music.
Hey Rim is an active performer both nationally and internationally. Notable shows have included an appearance at Lincoln Center in New York, at The Jazz Informance in Chesapeake, Virginia, at the Beantown Jazz Festival in Boston and at The International Association for Jazz Education Conference in Toronto, Canada. She has also performed at some of of the top jazz clubs and festivals in Korea, Japan and Turkey including the main stage of Korea’s inaugural Jarasum International Jazz Festival where she was billed alongside such luminaries as Dennis Chambers, Chris Minh Doky and Hiram Bullock. She also performs regularly with her band and as a soloist in the New England and New York areas.
In 2003, Hey Rim released her self-titled CD Hey Rim Jeon & Friends on the Take Note Music (TNM) label, which reached the CDBaby 40 Top Selling Jazz Albums list. Her original trio provided the backdrop for this 12-song compilation of originals and jazz standards.
In May of 2007, Hey Rim released Alone, a compilation of nine solo piano compositions on the Akasaka Kougei Japanese label. During the same year, Hey Rim collaborated with popular Vietnamese singer Doan Trang which resulted in her original composition being featured on Doan Trang’s album, Negative Proof on the Am Ban label. This album won the prestigious Golden Prize in Vietnam in 2007.
In 2009 at the age of 30, Hey Rim became the first Korean faculty member at Berklee College of Music, and has since been appointed assistant professor. She has also served as a guest clinician at the New England Conservatory and the Seoul Jazz Academy in South Korea.
Hey Rim’s third release, Mona Lisa Puzzle, is a collection of original jazz compositions and includes performances by members of Herbie Hancock’s rhythm section, Terri Lyne Carrington, James Genus and Richie Barshay. Also featured is virtuosic saxophonist Dave Liebman. Mona Lisa Puzzle won Best Jazz Album in the 2009 New England Urban Music Awards and reached the CDBaby Top 10 Modern Creative Jazz Albums list.