Luna Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea into a family that loves traditional Korean music. Luna first displayed musical talent after being introduced to the piano at age 10. Luna’s mother introduced Luna to the gayageum at age 12. This Korean zither-like instrument has roots back in the 1500’s and it has been Luna’s main love and passion to this day.
Luna was accepted into, and graduated from, the National Middle School and High School for Gugak (Korean traditional music.) She earned a degree from the Korean National University of the Arts (KNUA) and a Master’s Degree in Gayageum at Hanyang University. Her studies were highlighted by several solo concert performances in South Korea and Japan.
During her university days Luna started listening to all manner of western music including jazz, rock, blues, pop and classical. She noticed that guitar music often matched her own musical sensibilities and so spent a lot of time listening to artists like Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
After graduation, Luna accepted a position as a music teacher. In her spare time, she started experimenting with sound processing for the gayageum, using guitar pedals and audio and video recording software in her small bedroom studio.
In 2008, Luna posted her first video on ‘Mule’, the most popular website for Korean musicians. The cover of Steve Vai’s ‘Tender Surrender’ received a good reaction from fans which prompted Luna to record songs by Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani. In 2009 she started posting her videos on YouTube. Luna was encouraged when Steve Vai linked to her video on his website and Eric Johnson sent her a note of encouragement as well. It was at this point that fans from around the world started subscribing to her video channel.
In 2010 Luna won endorsements from companies like, B-Band in Finland, Carparelli from Canada, Paran Guitar and Tone Gauge from South Korea. She played on the B-Band feature stage at the Shanghai Music Show and started to dream of touring the world playing popular music on her gayageum. She became a regular guest performer in local clubs and started learning to arrange modern music for small jazz, rock and pop bands.
Still working as a traditional music teacher, Luna got her first big break in 2013 when her cover of ‘Voodoo Chile’ by Jimi Hendrix went viral on the internet. The video has earned over 5 million views and led to many opportunities around the world. The Venezuela Caracas Orchestra featured Luna as a guest artist and she also played many private shows including appearances for a Saudi Arabian oil business and the New Zealand embassy etc. She recorded her first album and EP featuring several of her original compositions in 2011 in Los Angeles, CA. Her first Performance in the US was at the California State University in Long Beach in 2013. And while she was in LA for the performance, she attended the ESPN logo song contest and won the second final.
In 2015 Luna was invited as a guest on Star King which, at the time, was Korea’s top rated TV show. She also travelled the world having won invitations to play in Germany, England, China, India and at the prestigious “Night of the Virtuosos” Festival on France’s Reunion Island.
Luna continued to focus on her YouTube channel and other social media platforms. By 2016 she had enough supporters on Patreon to obtain her own music studio and devote herself full time to her blossoming music career. Currently Luna has over 220,000 YouTube subscribers and 38 million views. She received the YouTube Silver Play Button and was listed on Patreon’s top 100 music artists. She has uploaded over 400 videos with several earning over 1 million views. She also won additional endorsements from music companies including Nuxe and Yukhyeondang traditional Gugak Instruments.
In 2017 Luna was invited to play two showcase performances at the world famous South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. She won stellar reviews from Austin360 and Billboard and was listed first in an article entitled ‘5 Women Who Rocked SXSW in 2017’. Other highlights for the year included an appearance at the prestigious Global ISAI Festival in Chennai, India and an appearance for Korea Night at Dodger Stadium. She was the featured musician on NBC’s Today Show for their special event marking 100 days until the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
In 2018 Luna played 60 shows at Disneyland in Anaheim as the featured musician for their Lunar New Year Festival in January and February. In same months, Luna was invited to two VIP events by Intel, for the PyongChang Winter Olympics. She performed for guests from around the world. In March she enjoyed a rare repeat showcase at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.
Luna performed as the headline musician for both the 2018 Asian Hall of Fame Ceremony hosted by the Robert M Chin Foundation and the 2018 Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Festival, both in Seattle, Washington.
In June Loreal hosted a private event in Singapore for 800 international VIP’s around the world and their families. To fit the “East Meets West” theme of the event, they selected Luna Lee as the special guest musical performer.
In September 2018, Luna was invited back to Dodger Stadium to play once again for Korean Night. Coincidentally, this was also where she met her husband.
In November of that same year, Luna was a featured performer at the Raleigh Korean Festival. This appearance was such a success that Luna is getting interest from Korean Festivals all around North America. Her family friendly show introduces rock and roll fans to Korean traditional instruments, while also introducing Korean families to western style music.
In June 2019 Luna began touring again beginning with a featured appearance at the
sold-out Montreal Korean K-nite Phenomenon show. The enthusiastic audience listened in rapt attention to Luna’s rendition of a difficult traditional Korean song that she performed while wearing a Hanbok, which is an elaborate Korean dress usually reserved for special occasions. The audience then exploded in excitement when she played some of her most popular rock and roll cover songs.
In early 2019, Luna’s work on Spotify caught the attention of The Recording Academy/Grammys. She was invited to meet with them and after they learned about the extent of her experience and success online, along with her recording and international touring, they urged her to apply to become a voting member of the academy. In June 2019 Luna Lee was officially accepted as a Voting Member of The Recording Academy/Grammys. The Academy had been looking for an expert musician with a deep knowledge in both eastern and western musical traditions to serve as a judge for the Grammy Awards in the World Music Category where Asian music has made great strides as of late. The Academy also recognized Luna’s remarkable contribution to World Music by introducing Korean sounds to so many fans of rock music from around the world.
In September Luna was invited back to Dodger Stadium to play once again for their Social Media Night. This was the third time she was invited to play at Dodger Stadium.