Jazz pianist Sophie Min has earned a place in the coveted JM Jazz World Orchestra. It’s no wonder, since the 26-year-old has been playing for more than 20 years.
The Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University Masters student was selected with 19 other young musicians from all over the world through an open global audition to join Jeunesses Musicales International’s premier jazz ensemble.
World renowned artistic director Luis Bonilla from the USA will lead Sophie and this year’s orchestra as they tour across Belgium, Croatia, Germany, the Netherlands and Slovenia from July 7.
The young jazz pianist, keyboardist, composer and educator moved to Brisbane five years ago from Seoul to complete her studies, and says improvising and meeting different jazz musicians is her absolute joy as a performer.
“I love how open minded musicians are here, to share their ideas and experiences,” she says.
“It’s what I love the most about jazz and what I’m looking forward to while touring internationally with emerging musicians from all over the world.”
European tour is just the start…
It’s a huge year for Sophie, who will also perform at Brisbane Jazz Club when she returns and as part of Brisbane Festival in July, before she launches her album and tours with her trio to Sydney and Melbourne in October.
Performing is nothing new to the young musician, who has already graced QPAC’s Melbourne Street outdoor stage some ten times for their annual Green Jam series, as well as gigging regularly in the Queen Street Mall.
She also remains actively involved in the Con Artists 18-piece big band, the Queensland Jazz Big Band, Queensland Youth Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Korean Orchestra and the Queensland Men’s Choir.
According to one of her teachers, Dr Louise Denson, Sophie counts among the top graduates who have emerged from the jazz area of the Queensland Conservatorium during her 16 years teaching in the department.
“I would place her in the company of Kristin Berardi, Elly Hoyt, Joe O’Conner and Isaac Hurren in terms of her level of achievement at this stage of her development and her potential to make a significant contribution to the contemporary jazz scene,” she says.
“She combines a very high level of musicianship with a strong work ethic and a quiet self-confidence.
“Sophie has outstanding aural abilities, a strong connection to groove and understanding or rhythm, a solid command of jazz harmony and solo vocabulary.”
Despite receiving the Anthony and Sharon Lee Jazz Scholarship from the Sydney University of Music, Sophie chose to undertake her Masters under the direction of Steve Newcomb, John Hoffman, Yitzhak Yedid, Zac Hurren and Ken Stubbs — legends within the Queensland Conservatorium’s famed jazz department.
You can now follow Sophie’s journey through Europe via the JM Jazz World Orchestra facebook page.