Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival

Jen Shyu (USA)

Song of Silver Geese

9 Nov 2017

“Her voice, a wonder of technical control and unrestrained emotion, tells a story dotted with well-researched facts and wild poetic allusions. She claims both as her truths.”

Wall Street Journal


The second night of the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival presents Jen Shyu – “a new kind of improviser-composer-ethnomusicologist hybrid”.


Here from the USA, this groundbreaking multilingual vocalist, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and dancer, won the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and 2017 Downbeat Critics Poll Rising Star Female Vocalist. A Stanford University graduate in opera with classical violin and ballet training, Jen had already won many piano competitions and performed the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto by the age of 13.


Born in Illinois, USA to Taiwanese and East Timorese parents, Jen has performed her own undefinable art music on prestigious world stages such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Blue Note, National Theater of Korea and festivals worldwide.


She has performed with saxophonist and 2014 MacArthur Fellow Steve Coleman since 2003 and collaborated with such musical innovators as Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Vijay Lyer and Bobby Previte.


Jen has studied traditional music and dance in Cuba, Taiwan, Brazil, China, South Korea, East Timor and Indonesia, which culminated in her 2014 stage production Solo Rites: Seven Breaths, directed by renowned Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho.


Currently based in New York City, Jen has produced six albums as a leader and will release her seventh, Song of Silver Geese, this November.


Jen Shyu composition, vocals, dance, Taiwanese moon lute, piano, gayageum, soribuk, violin

Veronique Serret violin

James Shipp vibraphone

Simon Barker drums