About Joy Yang
About Joy Yang
Joy Yang is a dynamic pianist and thereminist anchored in classical music, now focusing on jazz, free improvisation, and interdisciplinary performance. She is a performer-composer and educator. Yang leads her own jazz trio, and collaborates with visual artists, video projection mappers, sound designers, dancers, choreographers, scientists and poets. Joy improvises telematically with the international Ethernet Orchestra and Female Laptop Orchestra. Born in South Africa to Chinese parents, Joy spent most of her life in Sydney, Australia before moving to the USA to pursue her graduate studies. She is a native bilingual speaker in English and Mandarin, and fluent in Wenzhounese. Joy is completing her DMA in Jazz Performance (cognate in Piano Performance and Literature) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her first CD release was with Kuroshio in 2020, under Asian Improv Records.
Exploring liminal spaces, Joy continually broadens her musical voice and has released and performed in various styles as a pianist, thereminist, singer, rapper, song-writer and/or producer. These include: Briar Schlenker Trio (Free Improv/Noise), Valkyrie Trio (Women in Jazz), Almost A (Jazz/Gypsy/New music), UIUC Hip-Hop Collective (Hip-Hop), Boxout (Pop), Lifetime Member (EDM), Media Light Array (Grimecore/Noise), JA$$ (EDM Improv), Avant-Gardians (Free Jazz) and ViolaMPFREE (Interdisciplinary Improv).
Yang’s performance-composition commissions and conference presentations include: February Dance 2022, Joy of Regathering 2022 and January Dance 2023 at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (Illinois), Sound Kitchen 2022 (Calgary), 4S Society of Social Studies of Science 2021 (Toronto), Dance for World Community 2021 (Boston), Art-Science Festival 2021 (Illinois) and Immersion Festival 2019 (Illinois). Yang has a Masters in Piano Performance and Literature (UIUC), and was awarded the University of Illinois Fellowship (2022) and the Fellow of Trinity College London Diploma (Piano Recital, 2017).
Some of her interdisciplinary collaborators include professors: Jason Finkelman, Amy Hassinger, Cynthia Oliver, Jennifer Monson, Laura Chiaramonte, David Rosenboom, Roger Mills, Nela Brown, Cara Stacey, Armand Beaudoin, Jr., Dorothy Martirano, Steve Taylor, Smitha Vishveshwara, Rebecca Nettl-Fiol, Latrelle Bright and more. The Interdisciples led by Yang also includes: Jake Metz, Jonah Weisskopf and Matt Harsh. Yang’s Jazz trio features Mitch Maftean and Ori Sergel.
Joy has worked as the Music Admissions Graduate Assistant for the past 2 years. She writes the social media strategy and leads the School of Music’s social media teams, and serves as editor-in-chief of the Illini Stories Blog (including building and designing the website).
For the full bio and list of projects and collaborators, please visit: www.joyyangmusic.com
BMus/Bed (Distinction), University of New South Wales; MM. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; DMA Candidate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign