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‘Seoul Meets Soul’ concert information

‘Seoul Meets Soul’ concert information


January 10, 2017 – The Asia America Symphony Association will collaborate with the D.K. Kim Foundation and Child Fund, Korea, to bring underprivileged South Korean children of the Child Fund Korean Dream Orchestra to America to be mentored by professional musicians and perform at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, California on February 16th, 2017. This 3-way venture was conceived by one of AASA’s benefactors and sponsors, Dong Koo Kim, Founder of the D.K. Kim Foundation, who believes that education and service is key to the success of our youth. He wanted to provide these Korean students with a chance to succeed. “Enabling the Child Fund Korean Dream Orchestra to experience such an opportunity fills my heart. Not only will they be learning from such a well-respected music director and conductor as David Benoit, but they will be experiencing and learning about life in America,” states Mr. Kim.

The three organizations entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was sealed across global boundaries. Mr. D.K. Kim signed the MOU on behalf of his Foundation here in Los Angeles on August 21, 2016. Later in the month Robert Pacifici, President-elect of AASA, traveled to Seoul South Korea to participate in a ceremony where he and Mr. Je-Hoon Lee, President of the Child Fund Korea countersigned the MOU on behalf of their respective organizations. The MOU also provides for a future concert where Child Fund Korea will reciprocate and host AAYS in Seoul, South Korea.

“This event embodies and exemplifies all of AASA’s values: mentoring young musicians, blending eastern and western cultures, and promoting jazz and classical performances. It will be AASA’s great honor and privilege to host the delegation from South Korea for the joint concert event.” said Pacifici. Mr. Lee also commented that “The three organizations have one thing in common, to invest in our youth through mentorship, education, and opportunity. By pooling their resources together, each foundation will benefit in participating in the welfare of our young children in the U.S. and abroad.”

David Benoit, Music Director and Conductor of the Asia America Youth Symphony has formulated quite a wide array of music for the students to perform from jazz to classical, and even a few Korean folk tunes conducted by Maestro Seung Seok Oh of the Korean Dream Orchestra. Kelly Che, a native of South Korea herself, will perform as a guest vocalist with Maestro Benoit accompaniment on piano. Benoit notes, “It is dear to me to be able to give such an experience to these young musicians from both orchestras. It’s going to be an unforgettable “Seoul Meets Soul” concert. We hope to attract many new patrons for this special event.” For more information on this rare event, contact Asia America Symphony Association at


About D. K. Kim Foundation, Inc. – The mission of the D.K. Kim Foundation is to construct a global community that fights poverty and promotes innovation through entrepreneurship, scholarship and service. Their vision and mantra starts with the next generation as the future leaders of our society. They believe in creating a learning environment where the next generation is taught valuable skills and Christian values, and to give tools to those in need to become financially self-sufficient and self-reliant.

About Child Fund, Korea – They help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children have the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change in their communities. They promote societies whose individuals and institutions participate in valuing, protecting and advancing the worth and rights of children. They enrich supporters’ lives through their support of our cause.

About Kelly Che – Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Kelly is a classically trained singer and musician who first made her mark on the Los Angeles scene as a wellrecognized DJ of several local Korean radio stations. She also discovered she loved singing jazz. Kelly refined her craft preforming weekly shows in Los Angeles as well as special events throughout the Southland. During her musical travels, she has collaborated with the likes of John Clayton and Oscar Hernandez. Her debut album, “Collage” featuring notable LA Jazz artists including Edward Resto, Ramon Stagnaro, Joe Rotondi, Joey De Leon, Walter Rodriguez and Harry Kim, is an eclectic mix of musical styles and traditions that creates a transformative listening experience for music lovers of all nationalities.

About AASA – The Asia America Symphony Association is dedicated to developing and mentoring young musicians by providing educational and performing opportunities in a professional environment featuring classical and jazz concerts and integrating Eastern and Western influences. AASA provides mentoring to the youth by exposing them to professional musicians and allowing them to perform in major venues and with well-known professional artists. AASA also provides scholarships to furthering the mission of the organization.

About David Benoit – David Benoit’s career spans four decades as a contemporary jazz pianist and composer, including 32 solo albums that have garnered him five Grammy nominations as well as an Emmy Award for “It’s Your 50th Christmas Charlie Brown”. Benoit’s talents expand into symphonic orchestral music endeavors that include his ongoing role as Music Director & Conductor of the Asia America Youth Symphony along as the on-air radio host weekday mornings on KKJZ 88.1 FM.

Press Inquiries: Alison Jamele, email:; 310.527.1198.

Kelly Che & the Chestondi Project

Kelly Che & the Chestondi Project

Ari Project at the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles

Kelly Che & the Chestondi Project will perform a unique musical concert at the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles, located at 5505 Wilshire Blvd. in the Miracle Mile area on June 5, 2015. 

This ensemble of talented musicians accompanied the exquisite vocals of Kelly Che will perform a set combining Korean music and jazz from her debut album titled, Collage.  The performance will start at 7:30pm.

This is a FREE EVENT. However, you must RSVP. You can reserve your seat at

About the songs in the performance: 

  1. 1. Mom Sister
    “Mom Sister” is a 1922 Korean children’s song about the period of time when Korea was under Japanese rule (1910 – 1945). The song is in three beats, but music is in five beats. When played together, it creates a mysterious jazz sound.
  2. 2. Jindo Arirang
    ‘Arirang’ is the most famous Korean traditional song, with various versions from different regions. ‘Jindo Arirang’ is from Korea’s southwest region, originally played with a festive feel accompanied with a lot of percussion. We use a steady bass line with Latin jazz percussion, infusing the similarity between different world drums.
  3. 3. Praise in Death
    Korea’s first soprano, Yoon Sim-duk made her first recording  in 1926. This was also the first Korean language album to be released in Japan. ‘Praise in Death’ is the Korean version of ‘Gloomy Sunday’. Sadly, Yoon Sim-duk committed suicide after a heartbreaking breakup with her boyfriend. Rumor has it that some people also took their lives after hearing this song.  This music is from a motif of Iosif Ivanovici’s ‘Waves of the Danube’ with lyrics by Yoon Sim-duk.
  4. 4. Han-gye-ryoung (Mountain Song)
    This is a 1980’s Korean pop ballad song converted into a trumpet and vocal duet.
  5. 5. You Are the One Who Gives Me Happiness
    This tune is a four-beat 1980’s Korean pop/folk song that we changed into a three-beat with Festejo, Peruvian up-tempo rhythm. 
  6. 6. Who’s There
    “Who’s There’ is a Famous 1988 Korean blues tune turned into Cha Cha style.
  7. 7. I Love You
    “I Love You” is a 1993 Korean folk/pop song.  We use Bata (Indian percussion), Udoo (Nigerian percussion) and vocals with no other instruments.
  8. 8. Proposal
    ‘Proposal” is a 1997’s Korean pop song changed to a double beat samba.
  9. 9. Eres Tu
    This tune is musician Jang Hee Lee’s big hit in the 1970’s. This original rock song is arranged into Salsa style.
  10. 10. If You Come to My Heart 
    ‘If You Came to My Heart’ is  singer-songwriter’s Cho Duk-Bae’s huge hit in 1989.  This was the Band’s first Korean song challenge that was requested by a fan. The Band arranged this song into Danson (medium tempo Cuban rhythm) with a Guajirá finale.


VOCALIST KELLY CHE PREMIERES DEBUT JAZZ ALBUM COLLAGE Album Release Party to be Held on August 21 at Catalina Bar & Grill in Los Angeles

Los Angeles—Vocalist Kelly Che showcases her eclectic mix of musical styles and traditions in her soon to be released album, Collage, featuring several notable Los Angeles jazz artists, including Edward Resto, Ramon Stagnaro, Joe Rotondi, Joey De Leon, Walter Rodriguez and Harry Kim.

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Che is a classically trained singer and musician who arrived on the Los Angeles music scene as a DJ on several local Korean radio stations. She quickly garnered fans and became a well-recognized voice in the community. Che also discovered her love of singing jazz and began refining her craft by performing weekly shows at Bobby London’s in Hancock Park as well as special events throughout the Southland. During her musical travels, she has collaborated with the likes of John Clayton and Oscar Hernandez, among others. Working with so many notable artists has influenced her musical style profoundly and the result of blending her background with theirs has led to an output of truly unique and worldly type of jazz.

Collage is Che’s debut album, although she has long been active in Los Angeles performing, recording and collaborating with other artists. Listeners will find that Collage is a mixture of different cultures – Peruvian, Cuban, Puerto Rican, African and Korean. The album comprises covers of familiar tunes that have been reenergized with a twist of Latin rhythm, including The Beatles’ “Come Together” in an artsy Reggae style plus “And I Love Her” transformed to “Y Lo Amo” with a Peruvian touch. Che and her band of collaborators even reworked several Korean songs, like the 90s folk track “I Love You” performed with a more tribal feel and the 80s Korean pop song “If You Come to My Heart,” adding Danzón rhythms from Cuba.

Che’s “collage” of songs promises to be a transformative listening experience for music lovers of all backgrounds and nationalities. Each track proposes a new way of looking at these common, well-known melodies. Each listen simmers into a wonderful surprise, revealing the strength of the ideas and arrangements that work to beautifully blend all of the disparate elements together. As one reviewer recently put it, “This gorgeous girl from Korea may be a long way from home, but you would never know it after hearing how ‘at home’ she is with this diverse musical mix.”

With this impressive debut, Che is ready to share her musical influences and styling with the world. The Collage album release party will be held on August 21, 2014 at 8:30PM at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Los Angeles (6725 Sunset Blvd.,, featuring performances from Che with special guests. Tickets are available at or at the door on the day of the event. To find out more about Kelly Che and her music, visit her website

Kelly Che Debut Album Release Party