This is a Korean drum, dance and music ensemble based in Toronto. They perform an exciting and dynamic repertoire of original compositions and dance works as well as traditional pieces.
The group is comprised of male drummers who perform primarily on four percussion instruments: two kinds of leather drums and two kinds of metal gongs. Not just accomplished musicians, the members of Jeng Yi are also dancers and perform the dances with the Sangmo, a ribboned hat. According to legend, the streamers would have shards of glass or metal and were used as weapons during battle.
Jeng Yi was formed in 1998. In 2002, the ensemble performed their first full-length recital of traditional works at Artword Theatre in Toronto. In the following years, the ensemble composed and presented traditional and original works in a series of annual recitals. The ensemble has recorded the best of these works for their debut CD, titled 'The Occasion', released in the fall of 2005.
They have been invited to and performed at the University of Toronto, Sunfest, The Toronto Fringe Dance Festival, CanAsian Dance Festival, Brampton Folk Festival, Toronto Art Expo, Algoma Fall Festival, the Milk International Children's Festival and numerous Harbourfront festivals. The ensemble also performed as accompanists in choreographer and composer Peter Chin's Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning dance work, 'Bite'.
Charles Hong, founder and leader of Jeng Yi, has been drumming and dancing since 1990. From 1992 to 1996, he apprenticed under Kim Duk Soo, master drummer and leader of the world-renowned group, Samulnori. He returned to Toronto in 1996 and soon after founded Jeng Yi.
Besides his works with Jeng Yi, he has also performed extensively in dance, music and theatre productions all across Canada including the Guelph Jazz Festival, Canada Dance Festival, Internationalle du la Monde Montréal and McMaster University Concert Series. He has worked with Kiyoshi Nagata, Peter Chin and Yvonne Ng. He is currently teaching a credit course in Korean drumming at York University and University of Toronto.
Comments on our practice here in Canada | "We seek to be ever-inquisitive musicians, expanding the vocabulary and repertoire of traditional Korean music in a land and culture that is far removed from its birth-place. In upon our encounters of different music and musical practices in Canada, we have found much new inspiration in our endeavour to become innovative composers and performers."
Press Quote | "....slick, polished, talented and vastly entertaining..." Globe and Mail