Linda May Han Oh Joins Berklee’s Bass Department

Linda May Han Oh brings her experiences from the world stage as a performer, player, and teacher to Berklee.

November 5, 2019

Bassist and composer Linda May Han Oh has joined Berklee College of Music’s Bass Department as associate professor. The recipient of the 2018 and 2019 Bassist of the Year award from the Jazz Journalists Association, Oh has had five critically acclaimed releases as a leader. Her most recent recording, Aventurine, is a double quartet album featuring a string quartet and the vocal group Invenio.   

“Linda brings a vast amount of experience and expertise both as a player and as an educator,” said Steve Bailey, chair of Berklee’s Bass Department. “Every week, she brings back to Berklee real-world experiences as a player, composer, bandleader, and side person. Whether she is with Pat Metheny, Dave Douglas, or leading her own band, this kind of experiential mentoring is priceless. We are extremely happy to have her on our team.”  

"My wish is to help students cultivate the strong fundamental skills needed to be professional musicians,” said Oh. “I like to encourage ways of thinking that are creative and resourceful, that enable students to thrive well beyond the educational institution and in effect become their own teachers.”

Oh is a recipient of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Young Jazz Composers Award. She has written for large and small ensembles, and participated in the BMI Film Conducting Workshop, the Sundance Institute, and the Music and Sound Design Labs at Skywalker Sound. She also composed music for Sabrina McCormick's short films A Good Egg and FracKtured.

As a bandleader performing around the world, she has appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz in Marciac, the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. She has played the iconic Village Vanguard in New York City, Ronnie Scott’s in London, and the Blue Note Milano.

A member of the Sound Prints quintet led by Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas, Oh regularly plays venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and Prague Castle, and has recorded two albums, including the Blue Note release Sound Prints: Live at Monterey Jazz Festival. As a member of the Pat Metheny Quartet, she toured nationally and internationally, and will do the same with an album set to release in 2020. She is a member of the Fabian Almazan Trio, with albums on Palmetto, BlueNote/ArtistShare, and Biophilia. 

Oh has taught at the precollege program at Manhattan School of Music and the New School, as well as various residencies and workshops at the Banff Centre for Improvisation and Creative Music, the Siena Jazz International Summer Workshop, and Stanford Jazz Workshop. She has created virtual lessons, including a series as part of the BassGuru app for the iPhone and iPad.

“The global music scene today is changing so quickly,” said Oh. “I hope that my experience as an independent touring musician, composer, side person, and bandleader will help inform students of valuable ways to navigate this ever-changing scene while still maintaining their artistic curiosity and their individual platforms for self-expression and creativity."