Joe Kye
Gig Seeker Pro

Joe Kye

Sacramento, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Sacramento, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Indie




""Release of the Year" and Best in "Folk Rock" 2016"

You voted. Artists played. Bands took selfies with awards.

A capacity crowd came out to Ace of Spades for the 24th annual Sammies show last Thursday night, hosted by local musician James Cavern and Nick Brunner of Capital Public Radio. It was a massive celebration of the folks who make Sacramento’s music scene so rich and exciting—and, of course, we dished out some awards.

The big winners were Some Fear None, for both Artist of the Year and Hard Rock; Joe Kye, for Release of the Year and Outstanding Folk Rock; and Race to the Bottom, sweeping the Rock and Live Performer categories.

But we clearly have serious contenders for the 2017 Live Performer award, based off of some of the evening’s stellar acts. Soul singer Zyah Belle slayed with hypnotic, gentle croons. Hip-hop group DLRN brought tons of energy and swagger. And Drop Dead Red rocked the room with sheer sass.

All night, we witnessed sweet moments and big hugs on- and off-stage. And that’s what it’s really all about, right?

Anyway, read on for a full list of this year’s musical champs.

Release of the Year
Joe Kye: Joseph in the Well

Folk Rock
Joe Kye - Sacramento News & Review

""Kye's music discharged a world of emotions within me...deliver[ing] a comforting divine message.""

I had somewhat of an unexpected cathartic experience during the 2015 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville.

As I was walking past the Acoustic Nation performance stage, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the most powerful music I heard all week (mind you — I was surrounded by music for six straight days).

My eyes instantly turned into faucets as I experienced a non-stop stream of cleansing tears. What was happening to me?

The person whose music made me feel that way was Joe Kye, a Sacramento-based violinist-looper, singer and composer whom I’d never heard of before. I just so happened to walk by as he was playing an original piece called “11/8” (in reference to the song’s time signature) off his latest EP Joseph In The Well, released in May of this year. The lyrics were simple, but powerful: “I make mistakes, so do you.” That is literally all the song says with some minor variations in wording.

Kye’s music discharged a world of emotions within me. He delivered a comforting divine message. Every last note cradled me while my inner voice softly said, “It’s ok to make mistakes. You're supposed to make mistakes so that you can learn and grow from them. Be good to yourself.”

The universe made sure I was there at that precise moment and time, because I needed to hear that. I knew I was there for a reason and that I was on the right path — that, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of music.

Later on during the show, I ran into Kye and expressed my gratitude and the experience I had. He was very touched and gave me his CD, which has been playing on repeat ever since.

In the six-track EP, Kye’s style is playful, freeing and healing. His unconventional approach to violin inspires an unyielding desire for happiness, gratitude and curiosity. With tracks like “Happy Song,” “Clear Eyes,” and “Ashes,” Joseph In The Well tugs at the heartstrings of lovers of life, the wounded, seekers of joy, good and justice.

His music had a profound impact on me, and it’s likely to resonate with you, too. Listen to his EP below, and visit his website at

Amazing what music can do, right? - Guitar World's Acoustic Nation


Still working on that hot first release.



Born in Korea and raised in Seattle, singer/composer/violinist-looper Joe Kye has drawn rave reviews in his relatively fledgling career, “discharging world[s] of emotion” and delivering “divine messages” with his lush string loops and eclectic style (Guitar World). Drawing upon his migrant upbringing throughout Asia and the US, Kye blends indie-rock, jazz, classical, pop, and world folk to create a unique sound that “leaves everyone in awe” (Sac News and Review). With his innovative use of digital effects and looping, Kye weaves together diverse textures, catchy melodies, and rich, sweet vocals to create soundscapes that groove, uplift, and empower listeners: "A single mesmerizing symphony" (Sacramento Bee).

Following the release of his acclaimed 2015 EP, Joseph in the Well, Kye has been touring the United States with recent performances opening for world-renown cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Senator Bernie Sanders, and San Francisco Indie-Rock band Geographer. This summer, he is slated to feature at California WorldFest. Previous collaborations include the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, the Sacramento Ballet, Alvin Ailey Composer/Percussionist William Catanzaro, original Wailer Devon Evans, and LA hip-hop artist Jason Chu. Kye has performed in venues like Benaroya Hall (Seattle), Community Center Theater (TEDx Sacramento), NAMM MainStage (Anaheim), the Baryshnikov Arts Center (NYC), and the White House. Kye is a Fishman sponsored artist. 

Kye is currently planning an Asia tour and working on his new album, slated for release in early 2017.