"This girl sings music, and makes it sound upside down, while it's rightside up!!!"
- George Garzone , Saxophonist,
Professor at Berklee College of Music
Hailing from South Korea, Song Yi Jeon is a singer and composer who deftly combines modern jazz harmony and odd time signatures with singable melodies that instantly catch the ear of the listener.
She studied classical composition at the University of Music and Fine Art in Graz, Austria, and Jazz vocals at the Music Academy in Basel, Switzerland and Berklee College of Music in Boston, in the US where she developed her unique sound. Through her background in classical composition, she uses her understanding of harmonic structure to create incomparable improvisations.
In 2013, as the inaugural Quincy Jones CJ&E fellow, she studied at the Berklee College of Music where she was also awarded the Billboard Endowed Award.
Song Yi made her Blue Note debut in New York to great acclaim for her mini album release in early 2015, and in 2018 she released her first album Movement of Lives with her Quintet, featuring Vitor Goncalves, Kenji Herbert, Peter Slavov, Jongkuk Kim and Rogerio Boccato. Release concert was held at the Jazz Gallery NYC. Recently Song Yi released her duo album <HOME> with a Brazilian guitarist Vinicius Gomes by the label of Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music in 2022, and received rating of 4.5 by the Downbeat Magazine.
Song Yi has played at many clubs/festivals including Blue Note NY, the Jazz Gallery NYC, the Falcon, Bimhuis Amsterdam, Opus Budapest, Moods Zürich, Bird’s Eye Jazz club Basel, Jarasum Jazz Festival in Korea, European Jazz Fest in Korea, Offbeat Jazzfestival Basel, and more. She performed with many illustrious colleagues including Guillermo Klein, Bill McHenry, Jeff Ballard, Vadim Neselovskyi, George Garzone, Tiger Okoshi, Alain Mallet, Peter Slavov, Billy Drewes, Simon Shaheen, and many more.
After she moved to Switzerland, she participated in an emerging artist program called “FOCUSYEAR” at the Basel Jazzcampus, performed with Wolfgang Muthspiel, Ambrose Akinmusire, Billy Childs, Ambrose Akinmusire, Julian Lage, Django Bates, John Hollenback, Guillermo Klein, Norma Winstone and more.
Song Yi was recently selected to be part of Rolex Arts Initiative Mentor & Protége 23-24, and as a Music Protégé she will be working closely with five-time Grammy Winner Ms Dianne Reeves.
"This young lady possesses, the most extraordinary gifts. She already had refined and defined her instrument. As an improviser, she can boldly go with the best of them creating and breathing life into spontaneous invention. She’s a composer and arranger, and a cultivator of sound, wordless sound, that is able to reach inside and create that very precious experience as an artist that we all want, that is that soul to soul experience."
- Dianne Reeves, vocalist,
Rolex Arts initiative Mentor 23-24