“A truly wonderful pianist. Jinjoo brings a uniquely fresh, honest and personal approach to both her playing and her compositions. She really swings and tells a story!”
– Neal Miner (Bassist)
“I LOVE her playing and compositions!!! I hear Thelonious, Bud, John Lewis from her. Jinjoo does not show off. She tells a lot of big story with fewer notes, than most young artists of her age!”
– Jimmy Wormworth (Drummer)
Jazz Pianist/Composer/Arranger Jinjoo Yoo is a dynamic performer with a unique voice. Hailing from Seoul, South Korea, Jinjoo currently resides in New York and collaborates with different projects and leads her own group as well. As a leader and a solo performer, she has toured internationally, including performances in the United States, Italy, Greece, Azerbaijan, and South Korea. In 2017, she was selected as one of the finalists for the Baku Jazz Competition.
Enjoying singing and playing instruments from her youth, Jazz captured her attention soon after starting University in South Korea. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with Mary Lou Williams, Wynton Kelly, Teddy Wilson, Bud Powell, Sonny Clark, Art Tatum, Jimmy Rowles, Billie Holiday, Carmen McRae, and so on. Since then, she has immersed herself in the music by listening to jazz legends’ albums, studying music harmony and theory by herself. Although she was studying Sociology and Economics in her undergraduate years, she found herself more interested in Jazz rather than her major. After her graduation, she decided to focus on jazz more deeply in New York. In 2017, Jinjoo earned Master’s degree in Jazz Performance from Queens College.
Jinjoo stylistically encompasses the range from Jazz Classic and the American songbook to original compositions that are played with swinging intuition. Jinjoo thinks that her music should be able to describe this world, either beautiful or ugly, and the way she feels while observing it. Her original tunes bring stories and emotions of curiosity, joyfulness, tragedy, gratitude, melancholy, and pain.
Jinjoo recently released her Debut Album <I’m Curious>(Gut String Records, 2018) as a leader, where she presented her point of view on music. This album features two of incredible jazz artists: Neal Miner, one of the most sought-after bassists in New York Jazz Scene, and the legendary drummer Jimmy Wormworth that has a long history and playing credentials with a host of historic jazz figures. With this Trio album, Jinjoo recently finished her CD release tour in Greece and Italy successfully. In New York, she held a CD Release Show at Rockwood Music Hall with original members featured in her album, Jimmy Wormworth and Neal Miner.
Reviewing Jinjoo’s Music, Michael Steinman said in his blog <Jazz Lives>,
“…She can be tender, ruminative, but she can also create vivid joyous dances: songs that call out for lyrics. Her playing is spare but I never felt it to be sparse, the sonic equivalent of a large room with one canvas chair against the wall. No, her single notes seem just right – percussive commentary when needed, lyrical otherwise, and her harmonies are lovely, neither formulaic nor jarring….”
Jinjoo has performed at prestigious venues in New York such as National Sawdust, Rockwood Music Hall, Shapeshifter Lab, LeFrak Concert Hall, Swing 46, Nublu, Russian Samovar, Caffe Vivaldi, Club Bonafide, Tomi Jazz, Italytime, Shrine, and Silvana to name a few. In Italy and Greece, Jinjoo has performed at Afrikana Jazz Club(Athens), Jazz Point(Athens), Almagesti Cafe(Athens), Spiti Art Bar(Athens), Zita-p 87 Theater(Athens), Club GROOVE: Promoted by Pozzuoli Jazz Festival(Naples), and Jazz Club NEVER MIND(Naples).
Musicians Jinjoo shared a stage with include Jimmy Wormworth, Neal Miner, Dennis Mackrel, Antoinette Montague, Jon B. Roche, Marco Panascia, Dwayne Clemons, Murray Wall, Anna Kolchina, Andrea Balducci, Jim Fryer, Kihong Jang, Dustin Kiselbach, Dan Weisselberg, Doron Tirosh, Samuel Martinelli, and many more. Jinjoo can be often seen performing as a leader or sideman around the New York City. Her group regularly performs with various settings including Duo, Trio, Quartet, and Quintet.