Born in Korea and raised in Seattle, violinist- looper and vocalist Joe Kye has drawn rave reviews since launching his music career, “discharging world[s] of emotion” and delivering “divine messages” with his lush string loops and eclectic style (Guitar World). Drawing upon his migrant upbringing, Kye blends indie-rock, jazz, classical, pop, and world folk to create a unique sound that “leaves everyone in awe” (Sac News and Review). With his innovative use of digital effects and looping, Kye weaves together diverse textures, catchy melodies, and rich, sweet vocals to create songs that groove, uplift, and empower listeners: "A single violinist...one mesmerizing symphony" (Sacramento Bee). A powerful storyteller with a witty sense of humor, Joe’s performances weave his immigrant narrative through his show, inspiring audiences to compassion and empathy in these divisive times.
After studying music and culture at Yale University, Kye left a career as a high school educator to pursue music full-time. Kye has toured the United States with performances opening for world-renown cellist Yo-Yo Ma, comedian Hari Kondabalu, rapper Warren G, and Senator Bernie Sanders, along with nationally broadcast performances on NPR and BBC. His music has also been featured on the NPR Politics Podcast. Kye has been a keynote speaker for Multicultural Week at the Urban School of SF and worked with the United Methodist Church's General Commission on Religion and Race.
Previous collaborations include the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, the Sacramento Ballet, Alvin Ailey Composer/Percussionist William Catanzaro, TedX Sacramento, and LA hip-hop artist Jason Chu. Kye has performed in venues like Benaroya Hall (Seattle), the Alberta Rose Theater (PDX), the Baryshnikov Arts Center (NYC), and the White House. Kye is a Fishman and Neunaber Audio Effects sponsored artist, and has studied violin with Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi, John Kim, and Jim Mihara.
Kye is currently touring in support of his new album, Migrants, released in January 2018. Featured on BBC World News, PRI’s The World, and LA’s Music Friday Live, the new record has been praised as “lovely and nimble” and “delightfully unique.”
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