Janya is a daring new project incorporating traditional Korean instrumentation (Gayageum-Korean Zither, Daegeum-Bamboo flute, and Janggo- Drum with western vocals. The concept of this music is rooted in the Sinawi, a traditional form of Korean music used to accompany Korean Shamanic rites. Singer Lola Jung Danza, who is half Korean, summons her ancestors through music, an ancient art of healing and connecting with the past. Improvisation is the driving force behind their performance and composition. The group composes new music-- laying beautiful poetry over traditional Korean instrumentation. Rich soundscapes paint the far off land of Korea while telling stories of women's life, personal strife, hope and perseverance. Korean shamans were mainly women-- the role was passed down maternally. This is a celebration of women in music and culture. Janya is paving new ground for Korean Shamanic Music-- breathing new life into a lost art form.
In Sanskrit Janya means to be born and in Korean Janya means around dawn. Janya was created by four unique musicians-- all derived from Korean descent and all women. The music is a fusion of East and West—the East: Seungmin Cha- Daegeum, Eun Sun Jung- Gayageum and Woonjung Sim- Janggo, the West with Half Korean American Singer Lola Jung Danza. Something shamanic and magical exists between the four musician women and so-- Janya was born… around dawn.
Lola Jung Danza is half Korean and born in the U.S. Lola has a Bachelors degree from Berklee College of Music and a Master’s degree from Aaron Copland School of Music. Ms. Danza has toured all over the world with her own musical projects. She has played with legendary musicians: Ornette Coleman, Steve Kuhn, Lewis Nash, Bob Moses, John Lockwood, Ben Monder, Mat Maneri, Dave Tronzo, Bob Gullotti, Luciana Souza and Leni Stern to name a few.
Eunsun Jung, a Gayageum player, graduated from National School of Korean Traditional Music and earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Seoul National University. She actively performs worldwide, countries include: France, Belgium, Germany, America, Japan, etc.
Woonjung Sim is a percussionist working on her Master’s degree at Seoul National University and is a team member of 'Gong' which plays musikdrama. She plays not only traditional music but also theater music and contemporary music. She has a wide musical range and incredible performance skills.
Emerging as one of the most influential experimental daegeum(transverse bamboo flute) artists, Seungmin Cha was trained in traditional music and its discourse. A graduate of the School of Music at Seoul National University, Ms. Cha has developed her career as a solo daegeum artist, as well as a composer and an illustrator.
Janya performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.