Asia Society Presents In the Green Room, a Commission Highlighting Women in Jazz
Asia Society is presenting the world premiere of In the Green Room, a dynamic musical performance highlighting women in jazz, on Thurday-Friday, January 12-13, at 7:00 p.m. This newly commissioned work is conceived by composer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu, “an extraordinary voice” (The New York Times) and composer/pianist Sumi Tonooka, “provocative and compelling” (The New York Times). Shyu and Tonooka are joined by drummer/composer Terri Lyne Carrington and bassist/composer Linda May Han Oh.
Harnessing the power of music and storytelling, Shyu and Tonooka draw upon their own personal stories as well as those of important women in jazz, to reclaim and amplify their legacies. The weaving of these extraordinary stories creates an intimate portal into the living histories passed down through music and relationships across generations.
"Embarking on this epic journey with Sumi Tonooka, diving into the hidden stories of these incredible women in jazz, has been an ever-expanding epiphany that has no end. Our conversations into music-making and deep exploration of our own stories have made me reflect on my life's purpose and the power we have to instigate change," Shyu says in speaking of the project.
Tonooka continues: “Creating In The Green Room with co-collaborator Jen Shyu feels like a door opening up on a journey of constant learning. Our lives all hold history and speak to the times we are living through. I have been struck personally as to how much we all share despite the differences in age and culture, as women who create art. There is joy, pain, vulnerability and anger that informs our stories giving us grounding and inspiration we explore in the music we are creating.”
In the Green Room: Layering Legacies of Asian and Black American Women in Jazz comprises performances, a series of video interviews with women in jazz who have inspired Shyu and Tonooka, and interactive workshops with a cohort of millennial women jazz musicians.
This project is part of Creative Inflections, a first-of-its-kind initiative of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation that supports leading jazz artists to partner with presenting organizations in innovative collaborations that enable artists to take creative risks and expand the genre’s listenership by attracting younger and more diverse audiences.
Tickets are $25, $22 for students/seniors, and $20 for Asia Society members and may be purchased at AsiaSociety.org/NY. Members of the media interested in tickets should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concept and composition: Jen Shyu and Sumi Tonooka
Performers: Jen Shyu (vocals, Taiwanese moon lute, Japanese biwa, Korean gayageum), Sumi Tonooka (piano), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), Linda May Han Oh (bass)
Read bios for the artists here.