Preview: K-Music Festival 2020 (London & Online; Friday 30th October to Monday 16th November 2020)

K-Music Festival 2020

We all know that we won’t be able to travel to South-East Asia for a while, however, thanks to the Korean Cultural Centre and Serious, we are going to be blessed with a two-week-long cultural travel corridor between South Korea and the UK.

 Starting from Friday 30th of October, the K-Music Festival will be back in a one-off format, criss-crossing between live and virtual shows and featuring well-established acts of the K-music scene as well as up-and-coming ones.

The 2020 edition of the event, or as called by its organisers, a “live and digital hybrid music festival”, will arguably be its most diverse in terms of styles and formats, combining different categories of shows. 

On Friday 30th of October from King’s Place in London, ADG7 (Ak Dan Gwang Chil) will set things in motion, letting people forget the current Covid-19 blues for a few hours with their exuberant funky cabaret spectacle, also recalling folk tunes from their native Hwanghaedo region.

Then, from the following night, the Korean Greats series will shine a spotlight on some of the musicians who have already built a strong following in the UK and the rest of the world, like post-folk and rock band Jambinai (31/10 – Youtube) and jazzy ensemble Black Strings (05/11 – Youtube)

Another series, titled New Talents, will be about those artists who are expressions of the new K-sounds wave and will count on the performances of post-punk and experimental trio Dongyang Gozupa (02/11), progressive-folk quartet Dal:um (both on 02/11 – Youtube) and jazz fusion bands Gray by Silver and Gonia (09/11 – Youtube).

The festival will also introduce a brand-new format called K-Music Encounters, which will give the audience a unique opportunity to discover new collaborations next to the inspirations and creative processes behind them. For example, the one between Jae Il Jung (music director of Parasite and Okja) and gayageum performer Soona Park (04/11 – Youtube).

While the K-Music Specials shows will offer its attendees two immersive performances. The first one (6/11 – Youtube) will see gayageum trio Hey String rediscover and reinterpret the zither-like 12 stringed instrument traditional repertoire. The second appointment (13/11 – Youtube) will be with four gifted musicians (Woojae Park, Park Jiha, Kyungso Park and Soona Park) who will join forces to disclose a personal and inspired take on their Korean roots.

Finally, on Monday 16th of November, experimental drummer SooJin Suh, pianist and composer Kit Downes and bassist Ruth Goller will bring this year’s edition of the K-Music Festival to a close from the Pizza Express Holborn stage with a jazz-meets-improvisation-meets-experimental-sounds teamwork.

So, while we are all trying to come to terms with our physical inability to travel abroad, let’s make the most of the “virtual” opportunities we have.  Starting with the K-Music Festival!

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