The NEQ (Near East Quartet) is a music group founded in 2010. This group consists of saxophonist Sungjae Son, guitarist Suwuk Chung, drummer Jungyoung Song and traditional vocal Yulhee Kim, 4 musicians in Korean traditional music and contemporary jazz scenes who had been looking for a way of cross-genre collaboration over years. The group vigorously kicked off regular activities and released their first album Chaosmos in the same year.
Since then, rather than just fusing two different musical styles, they have developed their unique sound beyond conventional ones by experimenting and expressing their own music, which broke the boundary between jazz and traditional music to suggest stylistic diversity. In 2011, they were officially invited to present their music at the 7th Performing Arts Market in Seoul (PAMS) by exploring a musical primitivism or similarity hidden under the frame of both genres. The ensemble has been experimenting and expressing themselves as if these two intercontinental spirits were the same style of “music” culture. This new musical idea has helped them to express their own unique voice creating new atmospheres and unique textures. Through the changes and inevitable confrontation, The NEQ is still in transit between the eastern and western territory unknown to many of the contemporary audiences.
Their new edition team in 2015 will mainly feature improvisation played by up-and- coming jazz drummer, Junyoung Song and folk voice, Yulhee Kim who’s been singing Korean traditional songs globally in many festivals, together with two founding members, saxophonist Sungjae Son and guitarist Suwuk Chung. It is expected for audience in an even more different way than the last edition to experience fresh and interesting interpretation of contemporary jazz and traditional music by these 4 musicians, all of whom are considered one of the most promising artists in each field.
Sungjae Song saxophone
Yulhee Kim voice, jing
Suwuk Chung guitar
Jungyoung Song drums