CD review: Maria Kim – Fotografia 2019: Video, CD cover

An original, lyrical soloist and a demanding group leader, Maria Kim is a dynamic singer, pianist and composer. Maria Kim grew up in South Korea, and took up the piano at the age of 3; 12 years later she was singing and playing the piano professionally throughout South Korea as the youngest jazz vocalist and pianist.

When she was 18yrs old, Maria Kim won 1st Place in Vocals and a scholarship from the Berklee College of Music World Scholarship Tour held in South Korea. She moved to Boston in 2006, and there she performed weekly gigs with the Berklee professors as well as attending school there.

After Berklee, Maria Kim enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied under Ken Schaphorst, Ran Blake and Dominique Eade. She performed with Irene Aebi, Dave Holland, Ran Blake, and Steve Swallow, and started to develop her own unique style combined with free jazz.
Free jazz pianist and legend, Ran Blake, noted “Maria Kim is very special and one of the greatest singers I’ve played with.”

Based on her career throughout South Korea and the United States, she set her musical direction to, “Not a single note wasted”. Her music is a battle of two different egos within herself; Calm, dispassionate contemplation of her piano playing and the fearless vocalist exploring promptly to reach the perfect note, harmony and rhythm.

In 2013, Maria Kim became the first person to win two sections of Jazz People Magazine’s “Rising Star” award for piano and vocal. She released her album which she directed, composed, wrote lyrics, played piano and sang. She was also selected as the “2016 New Face of Korean Jazz” by EBS Gonggam.

In 2017, accompanied by Yoonseung Cho, the first Korean Monk Institute graduate, Maria Kim released her new album “I’m Old Fashioned”. Jazz critics had this to say about the new album:

“Whenever, wherever, with whoever you listen to this album, it gives that thrilling heart warming moment. This is something we call the jazz magic” – Jiho Choi
“Why is the dense reinterpretation so important in Jazz field? [I’m Old Fashioned] contains one possibility.” – Kyoungjun Lee

In 2018 She release the first jazz vocal duet album in Korea with the male vocalist Sung Huh through Sony Music Korea. This album was selected as one of the Jazz People magazine’s 2018 top 10 jazz album.

01. Samba de Uma Nota Só
02. Call Me
03. Fotografia
04. Desafinado
05. Ela é Carioca
06. Pra Machucar Meu Coração
07. So Danço Samba
08. Chega de Saudade
09. Garota de Ipanema
10. Doralice
11. Corcovado
12. Baubles, Bangles and Beads
13. Triste
14. O Pato

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