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Roger Kim is a jazz guitarist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He currently leads the experimental chamber music ensemble, Portrait Maker, in addition to playing in a number of groups and projects ranging from straight-ahead jazz to 50's R&B.

Roger approaches music with the understanding that it is a language. By playing with expectations, rhythm and impulses, tension and release, music bypasses the specificity of words and reaches straight into the human psyche. Shaped by a background in classical form and orchestration, modern compositional techniques, and jazz harmony, Roger's playing, in addition to his compositions and arrangements, ask questions, take journeys, and evoke sentiments.

Roger Kim is a UC Berkeley graduate with Bachelor's Degrees in Music and Business. In the music department he studied under Brian Pardo and Myra Melford.

Contact Roger directly: roger@rogerkimmusic.com (510) 557-4047




Portrait Maker

Portrait Maker is an improvising chamber ensemble that experiments with time and space. The group combines elements of theater and dance with sublime yet intricately complex music.

Click a link below to view video:

Portrait Maker has included, but is not limited to:
Roger Kim: Guitar/Banjo
Andrea Wang: Vocals
Marica Petrey: Vocals
Daniel Brown: Cello
Jason Gillenwater: Bb Clarinet
Lauren Hamilton: Dance
Maria Gerstley: Dance
Aejay Mithcel: Dance
Hannah Westbrook: Dance

Elliott Smith Hour

Elliott Smith Hour began as a tribute to Elliott Smith, the late singer songwriter revered for the quiet, but cutting introspection of his lyrics and music. The project has since evolved into an acoustic chamber music group covering a wide variety of musical matter, featuring arrangements of originals and pop, classical, and modern jazz music. Performances thoroughly explore the meaning of form, structure, love, and beauty of each song while combining technical musicianship with sensitive improvisation.

Listen to the Elliott Smith Hour Demo for free on SoundCloud

Click a link below to view video:

Elliott Smith Hour has included, but is not limited to:
Roger Kim: Guitar/Banjo
MJ Lee: Violin
Somin Lim: Violin
David Boyden: Violin
Zak Hazen: Violin/Cello
Daniel Brown: Cello
Steven Lugerner: Bass Clarinet and Alto Flute
Jack Hanan: Bass
Liz Duran: Flute
Crystal Pascucci: Cello
Brendan Liu: Trumpet
Jacob Richards: Drums

First Day

First Day began as a vehicle for Roger's original compositions while he was a senior at UC Berkeley. It has sinced coalesced into an amorphous group (though most often a trio with Jacb Richards on drums and Brendan Liu on trumpet) featuring original arrangements and compositions from all members of the band.

Free jazz and other freely improvised musics can often be heard as abstruse to the point of being too difficult to listen to. The music of First Day, however, utilizes freedom to seek the expressive possibilities of music. Through structure, composition, and an emphasis on sympathetic playing between the musicians in First Day, Roger hopes to unlock the use music as a means of communication at once both more specific and yet more universal than words alone.

Download First Day's latest album Cafe Music for free on Bandcamp

Click a link below to view video:

First Day has included:
Roger Kim: Guitar
Brendan Liu: Trumpet
Jacob Richards: Drums
Josh Drilling: Drums
Jake Barczak: Drums
Jason Gillenwater: Tenor Saxophone
Casey Mattson: Keyboard
Cairo McCockran: Drums
Anna Clifford: Cello
Nicki Adams: Keyboard
Benny Amon: Drums
Forrest Reige: Alto Saxophone
Mike Lee: Alto Saxophone
Chris Weir: Bass
Anand Badri: Drums
Kenny Mar: Tenor Saxophone

Standard Jazz