April 16, 2011 08:19
Nah Youn-sun won Best International Female Singer in Germany's prestigious ECHO Jazz Award on Thursday. Best International Male Singer went to Bobby Mcferrin, most famous in Korea for his a cappella song "Don't worry be happy."
Jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny won Instrumentalist of the Year. The award ceremony will take place in Dresden in June.
Germany is home to a number of world class jazz labels such as ECM and ACT, and has a strong jazz tradition. Nah also won the Prix Mimi Perrin du Jazz Vocal award by the L'Academie du Jazz in France in January.
In an interview with the Chosun Ilbo, Nah said she is "surprised but thrilled." "I think I was chosen over so many great jazz stars because my singing technique and tone of voice are different from those of western singers."
She said she has had 50,000 audiences at concerts in over 20 countries in Europe since last June. "I'm always grateful to European fans who welcome me despite the fact that they have so many great jazz singers in their own countries."
Her seventh album "Same Girl," released last year, garnered rave reviews for its provocative style and the elegance and purity of Nah's voice. It was recently released in the U.S. and named album of the week by U.S.A. Today. "I really enjoy singing in Europe, where there is sincere interest in music and great respect for musicians, but I also have great ambition to be recognized in the U.S., the birthplace of jazz. I'm getting many offers to give concerts in the U.S. these days, so I'm spoiled for choice," she said.
"Thanks to jazz, I'm able to travel a lot and blessed with open eyes and mind. I still feel that I'm growing little by little every time I do a concert although I'm already over 40. That's one of the reasons why I sing."
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