Latest album: jihyeleeorchestra.bandcamp.com
"April is the cruellest month..." - T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Jihye Lee’s first orchestra album, April, released in 2016, is a collection of uniquely crafted original compositions that reflect her individualism as a Korean-born jazz composer. The album draws from a richly varied sound palette to create a combination of fresh musical colors that simultaneously can startle and comfort. Listeners will experience a vivid array of shifting colors, the sonic equivalent of looking into a kaleidoscope. April invites the listener to participate in a world of imagination in a way that feels almost tangible.
April is co-produced by renowned composer and trumpet player Greg Hopkins, professor of Jazz Composition at Berklee, who is also a featured soloist. The orchestra's personnel are primarily Berklee faculty, including trumpeter Sean Jones and drummer Mark Walker.
This first album of orchestral works came to fruition rather miraculously, as it was entirely funded by donations from music lovers around the world using Kickstarter.
April was composed in response to the mysterious, yet poignant wreck, on 16 April 2014, of the Korean ferry Sewol, which sank en route from Incheon to Jeju, claiming the lives of 304 innocent passengers, most of whom were teenage children. This horrific and, for some, controversial event shocked the entire country, leaving its people haunted in the wake of this senseless tragedy. I had composed April Wind and Deep Blue Sea shortly before, and my apartment number was also 304; it was very strong coincidence giving me more conviction to bring April to life.
The music presented here echoes the yin-yang of human emotions. April reflects not only the misfortunate recounting of this catastrophe, but seeks to offer hope. In the context of this disaster, the month of April may certainly conjure feelings of anguish and despair, yet when viewed as part of the natural cycle, it is the month of life emerging.
released February 24, 2017
Produced by Jihye Lee
Co-Produced by Greg Hopkins
Composer, Arranger, Voice: Jihye Lee
Flugelhorn: Sean Jones
Flute: Elzbieta Brandys
Alto 1, Clarinet, Flute: Shannon LeClaire
Alto 2: Allan Chase
Tenor 1: Rick DiMuzio
Tenor 2, Clarinet: Bob Patton
Baritone, Bass Clarinet: Ben Whiting
Trumpet 1: Bijon Watson
Trumpet 2: Jeff Claassen
Trumpet 3: Rich Given
Trumpet 4: Greg Hopkins
Trombone 1: Jeff Galindo
Trombone 2: Rick Stepton
Trombone 3: Artie Montanero
Bass Trombone: Peter Cirelli
Piano: Alain Mallet
Guitar: Bruce Bartlett
Bass: John Lockwood
Drums: Mark Walker
Recorded by Antonio Oliart at WGBH
Mixed by Dae-Hee Kim at Valley Mixing Studio, Korea
Edited, preliminary mixed by Bob Patton at Thin Ice Productions
Mastered by Sangwook Sunny Nam at Jacob's Well Mastering