Vocal maestro Jang Sa-ik to perform in New York

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 25, 2014 - 20:31
  • Updated : Mar 25, 2014 - 20:31
Jang Sa-ik, Korea’s vocal maestro, will return to New York next month to present once again the unique world of his music that blends traditional Korean harmonies and rhythms with modern jazz, pop and blues.

This time, he will perform with four of his longtime colleagues with whom he just “loves to have fun.”

“For me, the ultimate fun has to involve some dancing. After all, don’t we all sing and dance when we’re happy?” Jang said at a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday. “So, it’s going to be me singing and my colleagues dancing, showcasing just how Koreans have fun.”

Titled “Jang Sa-ik and the Legends of Korean Dance: the Sound Calls out the Dance,” the concerts will feature four traditional Korean dancers performing different genres: Ha Yong-bu doing the drum dance, Park Kyung-rang doing the kyobang dance (the dance of courtesans), Lee Jung-hee doing the dosalpuri (exorcism) dance and Kim Won-tae doing the chaesang-sogo (small hand drum) dance.

Accompanying the dancers on stage will be Jung Young-man with a jing, a large Korean gong. He will use his voice to accompany the traditional dances. 

“I don’t know what exactly the concerts will be like,” said Ha, one of the dancers, and a government-designated human cultural asset. “I dance, without thinking about how I am going to dance. It will just come out of me when I go on stage and listen to Jang’s singing,” he said. 
Jang Sa-ik (right) sings during a press conference at the Korea House in Phildong, central Seoul, on Tuesday. The press meeting turned into a mini concert when Jang started signing and four Korean traditional dancers joined him with impromptu dancing. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

Ha and the other dancers have collaborated many times with Jang. They like to say they simply “had fun” together.

“We’ve had fun together before. Only this time we’re doing it officially on stage,” Jang said.

Jin Ok-sub, the artistic director of the upcoming concerts, believes that Jang’s music and the four dances are traditionally Korean and, at the same time, truly universal.

“No words are needed to explain what we’re staging. People will understand by listening and watching, and hopefully they will be able to feel the ‘heung (merriment)’ of Koreans,” he said.

Jang Sa-ik and the Legends of Korean Dance will hold a concert at Toronto Center for the Arts in Canada on April 16 and will play at the New York City Center on April 19.

They will then return to Seoul to perform at LG Arts Center on May 23. To find out more about the Seoul concert, call (02) 3011-1720.

The concerts are sponsored by the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation.

By Lee Sun-young (milaya@heraldcorp.com)