Born to Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrant parents, 2016 Doris Duke Artist Jen Shyu is an experimental jazz vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, producer, and Fulbright scholar. Known mostly for her virtuosic singing with saxophonist and 2014 MacArthur Genius Fellow Steve Coleman since 2003 and having collaborated with innovators such as Anthony Braxton, she has performed her own music around the world in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and festivals around the world. The New York Times reviewed her live concerts as “the most arresting performances I’ve seen over the past five years. It’s not just the meticulous preparation of the work and the range of its reference, but its flexibility: She seems open, instinctual, almost fearless”. The Wall Street Journal said, “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.”
Jen is currently based in New York City, touring with her group Jade Tongue and performing Solo Rites: Seven Breaths in the US and abroad. In March 2016, she premiered Song of Silver Geese, a multilingual, ritual music drama composed for Jade Tongue, dancer Satoshi Haga, and Mivos Quartet at Roulette. She is currently working on this and her next solo work, which will result in a United States 50-state “Songs of the World Now (SOWN)” tour.