Born from Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrant parents, 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award recipient Jen Shyu is an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, producer, and Fulbright scholar. Known mostly for her virtuosic singing with saxophonist Steve Coleman since 2003 and performing her own music around the world in such venues as Carnegie Hall (2016), Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Roulette, Blue Note, Bimhuis, Salihara Theater, and National Theater of Korea, Shyu has collaborated with innovators Anthony Braxton, Bobby Previte, Chris Potter, Michael Formanek, and David Binney to name a few. A Stanford University graduate, she has also studied traditional music and dance in Cuba, Brazil, China, South Korea, East Timor, and Indonesia, extensive research which last year culminated into Solo Rites: Seven Breaths, directed by renowned Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho. Shyu has won commissions and support from the Jerome Foundation, Chamber Music Americas New Jazz Works, New Music USA, Jazz Gallery, and Roulette, as well as fellowships from Asian Cultural Council, Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Korean Ministry of Sports, Culture, and Tourism. She is currently based in the Bronx, touring with her ensemble Jade Tongue and performing Solo Rites: Seven Breaths in the US and abroad. She has produced six albums as a leader, most recently Sounds and Cries of the World (Pi 2015) and Synastry (Pi 2011) with bassist Mark Dresser.
Photo by Miranda Lichtenstein