ABOUT COMFORT GIRL

photo by Michael Yu, Rockwood Music Hall 2018

photo by Michael Yu, Rockwood Music Hall 2018

photo by Fanny Chen, the cell 2019

photo by Fanny Chen, the cell 2019

photo by Fanny Chen, the cell 2019

photo by Fanny Chen, the cell 2019

photo by Michael Yu, Rockwood Music Hall 2018

photo by Michael Yu, Rockwood Music Hall 2018


Photos from the world premiere at Joe’s Pub at the Public, NYC March 2019 - photos by Michael Yu

 Comfort Girl is a musical exploration of the lives of Chinese 'comfort women' who were abducted into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during WWII. The work is a tribute to these young women’s incandescent courage and indomitable spirit, not only while in captivity during the War but also—in a cruel irony—when they returned home to their families, who didn’t always welcome them back with open arms. It explores the emotional and psychological strength needed to withstand intense suffering, and the resilience needed to flourish despite extreme adversity. Comfort Girl is a story about humanity, and a celebration of the strength of the human spirit. Of the 200,000+ victims, more than half were Chinese girls, imprisoned in their own homeland for months or years, as war raged throughout Japanese-occupied China. The music highlights an often-overlooked, dark chapter in history that still has echoes today, as survivors continue to fight for justice, and sex trafficking and women’s rights are still a major global issue.


PRESS INFO

right: 2019 APA Legacy Public Service Campaign (PSA) - Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month

below: Press Release for the world premiere


PERFORMANCES

May 20, 2019 - Excerpts and Discussion at Horace Mann School, NY

March 29, 2019 - World Premiere at Joe’s Pub, NYC

January 11, 2019 - Preview at the cell, NYC

December 9, 2018 - Preview at Rockwood Music Hall, NYC


INSTRUMENTATION - female voice, male voice, erhu, violin, viola, alto saxophone, piano, drums, percussion

PROGRAM NOTE - Click to see our program note from the world premiere

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND - Click for more info

REVIEWS

New York Music Daily DownBeat, July 2019 print issue

One of New York’s most socially relevant and ambitious jazz talents...”
”A Mighty, Harrowing New Suite... a phanstasmagorical song cycle...”
”What was most striking about the show was not only Chou’s ability to shift between musical styles, but her prowess as a lyricist.
— New York Music Daily, 5/16/19, from a review of Stephanie Chou's world premiere of "Comfort Girl" show at Joe's Pub at the Public, "A Rare City Park Show and a Mighty, Harrowing New Suite from Stephanie Chou"


HOW YOU CAN HELP

Please consider donating to Comfort Girl to help us continue to develop the piece and bring it to larger audiences. Your contribution will simultaneously support new music and help the legacy of the comfort women live on.

Donate TO COMFORT GIRL

Comfort Girl was made possible by a grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation. The first two previews and premiere performance of Comfort Girl were made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. LMCC empowers artists by providing them with networks, resources, and support, to create vibrant, sustainable communities in Manhattan and beyond.