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Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

K-music 2020 livestream: Soojin Suh + Kit Downes

As an update to all the below, there will be a livestreamed collaboration between Soojin Suh and Kit Downes broadcast on the Serious YouTube channel, Tuesday 8 December at 7pm. More details here.


The November lockdown is the final nail in the coffin of this on-off gig. K-music 2020 is now online only. But what a great line-up it is.

I’m leaving the below text in place, as a reminder of what might have been (but now won’t be).

The 2020 K-music festival closes with a collaboration between drummer Soojin Suh and pianist Kit Downes. Don’t miss one of the few remaining live gigs this year! Originally scheduled to take place at Pizza Express Holborn, the venue has now moved to King’s Place. The box office will open shortly and will be accessible via

Soojin Suh x Kit Downes

Monday 16 November 2020, 7:30pm
Kings Place

An exciting and completely new collaboration between experimental drummer/composer Soojin Suh and British pianist/composer Kit Downes.

Soojin Suh

Soojin Suh is one of Korea’s leading experimental drummers, she has studied music since the age of 5 and is a graduate of the City College of New York. She has released four records (The Moon in Your Hand, Strange Liberation, Colorist, and Embrace) as well as being a member of the celebrated group and K-Music 2018 performers Near East Quartet.

Kit Downes

BBC Jazz Award-winning, Mercury Music Prize-nominated pianist/composer Kit Downes is also an ECM artist, playing solo as well as with his own bands (ENEMY, Troyka, Elt and Vyamanikal).

This collaboration with label mate Soojin Suh is exclusive to the K-Music Festival in partnership with the 2020 EFG London Jazz Festival and promises to be a classic. Bassist Ruth Goller joins to complete the unique collaboration.

Near East Quartet’s rich hour-long set explored all sorts of uncertain, experimental territory with panache, fuelled by Suh’s extraordinary flurries of activity behind her kit – eschewing timing and regular beat for a conversation with and over the fluid textures created by the sax and guitar. With much of the set drawn from their excellent debut album on ECM, there were times when the music came close to the thrilling, sometimes brutal soundscapes of early Seventies Miles Davis’ (★★★★ The Arts Desk)


‘Soojin Suh launches a barrage from behind the kit’ (Downbeat)
‘Downes’ uncanny ability to make difficult music sound natural’ (★★★★ The Guardian)
‘Enticingly strange and wonderful sounds; a lightning musical intelligence’ (Telegraph on Kit Downes)
‘Downes conjures spectral soundscapes, fluctuating moods and a distinct sense of place with sparse piano cadences, rhythmic understatement and the unmistakable sonics of an English parish church organ’ (Financial Times)


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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