Musician and composer Jeff Song is becoming well known for his contributions to the world of contemporary improvised music and to the growing body of creative music by Asian Americans. Originally from the Midwest, Song has been active in the jazz, folk, rock, funk, new music, and contemporary improvisation scenes in the Boston and New York areas since 1982. Primarily a cellist and bass guitarist, he has also performed and recorded on the kayagum, a Korean 12-string zither. Outside of the traditional Korean aesthetic, Song has developed his own unique style, approach, and technique on this zither as another means for his creative music making.
Song received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University (1987), and his Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music (1992). Inspired by his peers and teachers (Ran Blake and Joe Maneri), Song began to explore improvisation and composition through the music of various non-western cultures (especially various Korea folk genres), and the works of daring 20th century classical and jazz innovators such as Ornette Coleman, Arnold Schoenberg, Charles Mingus, George Crumb, Henry Threadgill, Charles Ives, John Zorn, and John Coltrane.
A New England Foundation for the Arts grant recipient (1993), Song continues to develop a musical language that is not readily labeled or defined. The challenge that this music presents -- to both the artist as well as the listener -- is to move beyond mainstream musical conventions and discover meaning through new sonic possibilities. Through his improvisations and compositions, Song strives to expand the range of musical expression, allowing new sounds and compositional techniques to create a richer aural spectrum.