Janice Jo Lee is a Korean-Canadian, folk musician, multi-instrumentalist, spoken word poet, and theatre artist rooted in Kitchener, on Haldimand Treaty territory. She is passionate about building flourishing communities based in justice and joy through art. Lee is a hard femme queer radical and on stage is known for being disarmingly hilarious, off-the-cuff and fearlessly honest. Artistically she explores social justice issues at the vanguard and enjoys multidisciplinary collaboration and improvisation. She is interested in the question: “What is my responsibility to my ancestors and my community as a storyteller?”
She has performed at festivals and poetry slams across Canada, and has facilitated over one hundred workshops on poetry, storytelling, songwriting and activism. In Waterloo Region, she curates and produces for KW Poetry Slam, Rainbow Reels Queer and Trans Film Festival, and co-directs the Young Company at MT Space (Multicultural Theatre Space). In 2017 readers of the Community Edition Newspaper voted Lee Best Performance Artist and Best Musician in Waterloo Region. Lee was the City of Kitchener’s Artist in Residence in 2015 and her music has been played nationally on CBC radio. In 2017 Lee premiered her one-person musical Will You Be My Friend to sold out houses in Kitchener produced by Green Light Arts. The musical returns May 10-20 2018 at The Registry Theatre. A documusical about her journey titled The Legend of Sing Hey premieres at February 2018. Her long-anticipated third studio album Ancestor Song comes out in June 2018 as an epic folk orchestral dance-theatre show.
(Photo from “Bad Koreans” by Hannah Yoon)