Jazz pianist Sukyung Kim’s compositions sparkle on ‘Lilac Hill’

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Sukyung Kim

‘Lilac Hill’



If Korean-born pianist Sukyung Kim visits Rochester in the spring, she can feast on our real lilac hill in Highland Park. The title track of Kim’s impressive debut EP, “Lilac Hill,” was inspired by a dream, but that won’t stop listeners from taking an evocative musical journey through it.

A superb keyboardist, Kim began studying classical piano at the age of four. She was still working classically, on the piano and in composition, when she attended the State University of New York at Binghamton. But, by the time she entered New York University to get her master’s degree, her interest had shifted to jazz. After lessons with such luminaries as Kevin Hays, Alan Broadbent, Drew Gress and Ari Hoenig, Kim emerged with a distinctive compositional and instrumental voice.

Lilac Hill by Sukyung Kim

Released on May 10, “Lilac Hill” contains five compositions that leave no doubt about his talents as a writer. With a wonderful melody unfolding over a complex 5/4 time signature, the song “Lilac Hill” not only showcases Kim’s lyrical piano style – it also offers listeners the excellent saxophone playing of graduate Ethan Helm. from the Eastman School Of Music, and inventive guitar work. by Paul JuBong Lee.

Lilac Hill by Sukyung Kim

On “Summer Days,” a tribute to her favorite pianist, Keith Jarrett, Kim switches from piano to Fender Rhodes. This sparkling composition contains beautiful harmony between Kim and Helm and strong solos from both, while also showcasing Jongkuk Kim’s drumming. The final track, “California”, written about his childhood there, features a beautiful bass solo by Luca Alemanno.

About Madeline J. Carter

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