C2K Trio is Kenji Omae on tenor saxophone, Chang-Hyun Kim on bass and Chris Varga on drums (see individual bios below). All three musicians are currently active in the young but rapidly flourishing jazz scene of Seoul, Korea, and have also put in time in New York, Chicago, and Toronto. After putting in sidemen duty in numerous groups together, it became apparent that there was a creative empathy and mutual desire to explore the challenging format of the “saxophone trio” together. The result is C2K Trio’s debut effort, “Unbalanced Beauty”. “We’re not trying to re-invent the wheel”, says drummer Varga, “but we are trying to write tunes specifically for the trio format, tunes that allow us to take advantage of the absence of piano or guitar.” He adds, “There's more of a burden on each member of the trio to be present, to contribute, to hear what's happening and try to react accordingly."
Kenji Omae is a Canadian born saxophonist living in Seoul, Korea. After studying in Toronto and playing locally he moved to NewYork for four years. He has played with Kurt Rosenwinkle, the Jimmy Heath big band, George Colligan, Ari Hoening, Freddie Bryant among others and has performed at the NewYork Blue Note, Smalls, the Jazz Standard. He holds a masters degree from the Aaron Copeland School of Music under the tutelage of Antonio Hart.
Double bassist Chang-Hyun Kim studied at the Berklee College of Music and Western Michigan Uni. He received a Masters Degree of Music in Jazz Studies from Indiana University located in Bloomington. He moved to Korea in 2003 and has earned a reputation as one of Korea's finest jazz artists.
Chris Varga's musical background is widely varied, ranging from jazz, classical, church, rock, pop, 20 th century avant-garde, trip-hop and other unclassifiable genres.
His formal education includes a BM in percussion from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, an MM in jazz studies from DePaul University in Chicago , Illinois , plus a few months at Berklee College of Music in Boston , where he studied vibes with Victor Mendoza.
His informal education includes freelancing on vibraphone and drums in the Chicago area, performing at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the JVC Jazz Festival in Seoul, and the Singapore International Jazz Festival. Chris has also performed with Peter Bernstein, Steve Slagle, Dave Stryker, Howard Levy, Ulf Wakenius, Darren Barrett, Eden Atwood and others.