Janice Jo Lee (she/her), aka Sing Hey, is folk artist of Korean ancestry. She is a contemporary folk-soul musician, spoken word poet, playwright and educator from Kitchener, on Haldimand Tract treaty territory. Lee is passionate about building flourishing communities based in justice and joy through art. On stage Janice performs vocal looping songs, with her trumpet, Korean jangu drum and guitar. She is known for being disarmingly hilarious, off-the-cuff and fearlessly honest. She is a hard femme, queer, radical, comedian, truth-teller and trickster. She believes in the power of storytelling to build a bridge across difference and bring people together. Her latest compositions are Ancestor Songs, wailing and heart-wrenching melodies full of power and ferocity.
Janice’s musical influences include Lauryn Hill, Judy Garland, Cole Porter, Regina Spektor, David Francey, and Joni Mitchell. She grew up singing in church choir, played trumpet in grade school, and took piano lessons but liked soccer better. Janice learned guitar to accompany the Radical Choir, a community of artist-activists at Wilfrid Laurier University. Through the Radical Choir, Janice got involved in the wider Kitchener-Waterloo community doing social justice work. In her twelve years in Kitchener-Waterloo, Janice founded the KW Poetry Slam, produced with Rainbow Reels Film Festival, and performed with MT (Multicultural Theatre) Space. Janice was the City of Kitchener’s Artist in Residence in 2015 and created four cinepoems about the City.
In Fall of 2018, Janice’s one-woman musical satire, produced by Green Light Arts made it Toronto debut at Theatre Passe Muraille. The show is a tongue-in-cheek critique on interracial friendships and received critical acclaim (NNNN Now Toronto, ¾ Toronto Star).
Janice has performed across the country including at Verses Festival of Words (Vancouver), Artswells (Wells, BC), Breath In Poetry (Edmonton), Word Up (Regina), Tonight It’s Poetry (Saskatoon), Home County Festival (London), In the Soil (St Catharines), Hillside (Guelph), Small Word Music (Toronto), and YouthCanSlam (Ottawa). In Waterloo Region, she was voted Best Performance Artist four years running from 2016 to 2019. Currently she lives in Toronto performing with her trio, and organizes with SpeakNORTH, the national spoken word organization. Stay tuned for her upcoming albums Ancestor Song, and Lonely is the Lullaby.