Jihye Lee is a New York-based jazz composer, bandleader, and vocalist. She re- leased her first orchestra album, April, in February 2017, garnering global praise as a fresh original voice on the jazz composition scene.
The Jihye Lee Orchestra has performed at various places in NYC, such as Symphony Space, Jazz Gallery, etc. Lee has presented her music in Boston, Los Angeles, Seat- tle, and Korea at notable venues, including the Berklee Performance Center, Blue Whale, The Triple Door, and Maria Callas Hall.
Lee graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music with numerous awards and scholarships, learning from and working with world- renowned faculty, including Jim McNeely and Greg Hopkins. She has studied privately with multi-Grammy Award recipients Maria Schneider and Terrence Blanchard, and attended workshops with John Clayton and Robin Eubanks.
Lee continues to create original compositions for second orchestra album, while performing, teaching, and doing commissions. Besides her orchestral work, she is planning to release her original duet album with pianists Yoonseung Cho and Vardan Ovsepian in a near future.
‘April’ Reviews / Quotes
"With its chamber-like woodwind textures, involved harmony and sectional counter- point, and persistent rhythmic drive, Lee's music fits comfortably within a resurgent large-ensemble format whose exponents include Maria Schneider, John Hollenbeck, Darcy James Argue, and Andrew Rathbun. But Lee also imbues her compositions with han, an ineffable sadness that serves as a dramatic element in much Korean art — compare the Brazilian saudade or American blues." – David Adler, Village Voice
"Lee certainly embraced that richness on her remarkable debut, which is redolent of the coloristic bravura of the Maria Schneider Orchestra and the narrative complexity of Jim McNeely's arrangement." ᅳ Shaun Brady, Jazziz
Four stars: "...a musical triumph born of an unspeakable tragedy, thought-provok- ing and gut-wrenching all at once. The music sings, sobs, and soars in its unfolding, leaving the listener with a carefully-crafted reflection on the event(s) and a glimpse into Lee's emotional core....April is simply unforgettable." – Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
"Not your typical big band music It’s very original, very beautiful, and very well thought-out, well orchestrated music." — Greg Hopkins
"Jihye Lee is emerging as a strong voice in the next generation of composers for large jazz ensemble. Her music is imaginative and creative, and she's not afraid to take some exciting chances in her writing." – Jim McNeely