Linda May Han Oh2023

Displaying exceptional musicianship and musicality, Linda May Han Oh is well known as a master bassist, playing both electric and upright bass. A gifted composer, improvisor, and band leader, Oh draws from multiple stylistic expressions - including Black American music, jazz, contemporary classical, East Asian traditions and various alternative and global music traditions. She writes and plays music that is, by turns, rhythmic, ornate, bright, spare, and whimsical, full of powerfully unexpected moments, all a testament to her curiosity and rigor.

Oh has written for large and small ensembles as well as for film, and has released six records with compositions that expand the sonic possibilities of jazz through deft, subtle innovations in sound, texture, and form. Her use of string quartet, vocal and percussion ensembles further embellish these compositions with color and impact. Following her 2023 Grammy Award for her work on Terri Lyne Carrington’s Best Jazz Instrumental Album, New Standards Volume I, this year she also released her latest album, The Glass Hours (Biophilia Records) and premiered her most recent commissioned work Ephemeral Echoes for percussion trio with piano trio.

As a performer, she has worked with many well-known artists including Pat Metheny, Geri Allen, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington, Vijay Iyer and Ambrose Akinmusire. Serving as the model for the bassist in Pixar's animated film Soul, she performs on the film's soundtrack. Her sound has been described as both “grounded and stoking the fire” as well “clear, bright and optimistic.”

In addition to her live and recorded performances, she is Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music and is a part of Berklee's Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice. In 2018-2021, the Jazz Journalist Association voted her Bassist of the Year.


“Empathy and universal human experiences (love, awe, fear) are important themes in my work. My hope is that with the music I create, we can look at these experiences together and find some common ground within this current world rife with division.”

photo: Shervin Lainez