An interview with Jud Kim, a CJ Pop Music Scholarship awardee who communicates with the world with drumming
Kim Joon-Mok is a jazz drummer who is also a CJ Pop Music Scholarship awardee. Performing under the name of Jud Kim, he is a man who wants to realize his dream of 'communication' and 'education' through music.
Not only does his music move the audience but it also warms their hearts. And his education does not simply deliver techniques but it teaches how to communicate people through music. Let's take a look at the music, life and dream of jazz drummer Jud Kim.
His encounter with jazz drumming
Q. Nice to meet you! Please introduce yourself.
A. Hello. My name is Jud Kim and I'm a jazz drummer and also lecturer for corporate education from Creative 13, an arts education company.
Q. What made you decide to become a jazz drummer?
A. I have been a lover of music since my childhood, and I came to learn about drumming while experiencing various genres of music. And this instrument led me to jazz. The more I learned about jazz, the more I loved it, and now I am living my life as a jazz drummer.
Q. What made you decide to study abroad?
A. I have a teacher who is very special to me and his name is Joe Hunt. When I was deeply immersed in jazz, I came to know him who participated in the Bill Evans Trio as a drummer.
As I knew he was teaching at Berklee College of Music, I became naturally interested in the school. I decided to apply for the college to learn jazz from a respectable musician in the United States, the home of jazz.
Q. I heard that in this process, you got a chance to win the CJ Pop Music Scholarship. What were the good points for being an awardee of CJ Pop Music Scholarship when you studied in the United States?
A. There were lots of good points! I could work part time less and this allowed me to focus more on studying. This also allowed me to see performances of various musicians.
Q. Can you tell us any memorable episodes from your studying abroad?
A. I felt truly blessed all throughout the time when I studied abroad. I had some people who make me relieved and give me some help when I felt alone and hard, and I could overcome the anxiety about new challenges by concentrating on studying.
In addition, I taught drumming to 1.5-generation Korean American students. Personally, it was a meaningful time as I not only taught technical aspects of drumming but I could also talk with them about our country.
Expressing your life through music
Q. Please introduce the talk concert you recently did. I also wonder what messages you hope to deliver through your jazz lectures.
A. I held the Jud Kim Jazz Talk Concert on August 31. In my previous corporate education programs, I focused on conveying my experience where jazz was used as a friendly and amusing means of communication. This time, I focused more on communication based on selected key contents.
Through my jazz lectures, I wish to introduce the creativity, improvisation, change and innovation aspects of jazz and deliver various messages to our daily lives. The bigger goal is to change awareness. I would like the audience to experience that arts can go beyond a culture that can be enjoyed and make a huge impact on and can be useful to personal life.
Q. Can you introduce your second album?
A. The theme of this new album is "education and communication". There are many ways of communication but my second album contains both appreciation and education.
Along with the new album, I released Jud Kim's Berklee Style Drum Manual as well. Not only does the book deliver technical aspects of drumming but it also aims to share musical concerns I had from my experience with readers. Through the book, I intended to deliver ways to solve problems and practice techniques.
I think it is also a good textbook for developing one’s musical imagination. Attached with 'Play-A-Long', a song from Jud Kim's second album without the drum part, and its score, the book also allows readers to play the drum part of the music.
Q. What is your most unforgettable performance?
A. Memories of performances with large audiences and big cheers seem to last long. One performance that comes to my mind now is the one I had in a retirement home in the US.
Old audience members smiled at me while listening to my music. They enjoyed my music itself rather than focusing on techniques or music quality, and I guess this is why I can't easily forget the performance.
Q. What is the appeal of jazz to you?
A. It's like a knot that never becomes fully untied as you learn more. One moment, I feel that the knot has almost been untied, but soon after, it looks like a tight knot again. I don't know when the knot will become untied but I guess I will remain lost in jazz as this is a knot that won't be untied easily.
Q. What do drums mean to you?
A. I think drums are a means of expressing our daily lives. Drums are a means of expressing my life and communicating it to many others.
A hope he found while studying abroad - CJ Pop Music Scholarship
Q. What is your plan as a musician?
A. I would like to do my best to enjoy every inch of my life with music. I want to study various charms of jazz and enjoy jazz along with many others.
I would like to share the artistic values I found with young students who had little chance to learn music due to economic difficulties. To this end, I am also running a small volunteer group called HUGS.
Q. What does CJ Pop Music Scholarship mean to you?
A. It was a small comfort that came to me when I was feeling exhausted. I had a doubt whether I was doing this study well. And that’s when I met with the program.
Q. Do you have any message for those who want to apply for CJ Pop Music Scholarships?
A. Don't forget how valuable the study you are pursuing is. I hope you can keep on trying until you feel a sense of hope. I hope you don't miss the opportunities to come and that you become a great musician and artist.
Today, we introduced to you the story of Jud Kim, a CJ Pop Music Scholarship awardee. Don't you feel that you are listening to drum beats being played by him?
I give big applause to Jud Kim, a jazz drummer who wants to communicate his life with many others. I also would like Jud Kim to support young creators along with CJ Culture Foundation to realize their dream.