Linda Oh, a Jazz Musician Making It in the New York City Music Scene

By Philip Trapp on Jun 22, 2016 10:46 AM EDT

Linda Oh is a renowned jazz bassist residing in the New York area. Though her work as an instrumentalist is lauded, a recent article in The Village Voice detailed Oh's ever-pressing musical journey as an "almost famous" jazz sideman.

Jazz music being an essential part of the New York City music scene, Oh is never short for gigs. However, as the Voice piece points out, for Oh it is often at such disparate venues as "a storefront church on Bleecker Street; at SubCulture in Noho; and at 55 Bar in the West Village."

While the artistic side of the jazz scene is blooming in the city, monetarily it may not be quite as rewarding. Oh leads her band and does what she can to make it as a musician. As she says, the musical environment of tradition and progression knows no limit

"I think there are a lot of inventive things happening within the jazz scene," says Oh. "I think it's a beautiful thing so many musicians are branching out and crossing so-called genre boundaries in expressing their individual voices...but also honoring the tradition of the roots of the music."

Oh has a diverse background. She was born in Malaysia to a Chinese family and grew up in Perth, Australia with her two older sisters. Though both siblings eventually became doctors, Oh was bitten by the jazz bug early on.

Oh, 31, continues her onward climb of the New York jazz-scape. Not one to be deterred by any dissuading facet of the art that may come her way, she recently shared with The Observer of her parallel of gender and race in the music scene:

"I really feel that women in jazz is the same thing as race in jazz," she said. "If people just forgot about it and listened to the music, then everything would be cool."

Below, watch an interview with Oh from the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival:

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TagsLinda Oh, New York Jazz Music

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