Jiwon Kwon is an active pianist and composer, with a deep interest in research. She is currently pursuing a masters in musicology at Washington University in St. Louis, where she studies jazz, popular music, and music criticism. In her master’s thesis, she focuses on the relationship between jazz record labels and jazz musicians.
As a performing jazz musician invested in the people who make up this field, her musicology research methods are rooted in ethnography. She is especially interested in the future direction of jazz—not just from a stylistic point of view, but also from an economic point of view. More specifically, she seeks to examine how extra-musical factors such as record labels, album graphic design, streaming services, and financial capitalism affect and inform the style and direction of music as well as its creators and audiences.
Jiwon holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance and jazz composition from Berklee College of Music. She has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Down Beat Student Music Award for Original Composition—Small Ensemble for her piece “The First Step." Her arrangement of ‘Apa” is featured on the soundtrack for the Korean TV show Loving You a Thousand Times. In her free times, she likes to read books, watch TV shows, and attend exhibitions and concerts.