Credit: Marty Bra

JIJI is a Swiss Army knife of talent. It’s hard not to boil her down to a list of accomplishments. Many online bios just list awards she’s accrued and compositions she’s played. But knowing that JIJI has been featured in the New York Philharmonic’s Nightcap Series doesn’t really capture the emotional potency that makes her music so special. Knowing she performed Hilary Purrington’s Harp of Nerves at Carnegie Hall in New York doesn’t do justice to the tension packed into the quieter moments of her shows, or to the knowledge that at any moment the music could boil over into something ornate and overwhelming. Knowing that she sometimes moonlights as a DJ and once spent an “awesome” summer playing in a Massachusetts punk band … Well, actually, that helps a bit, because they illustrate how versatile and creative this world-class shredder truly is. Originally from Seoul, JIJI started playing guitar when she was 9, inspired by a love of AC/DC and Deep Purple. By 14, she had been accepted into the Korea National University of Arts. Though she ended up pursuing a guitar style fairly different from that of Angus Young, she made a hallmark of breaking down barriers between classical and contemporary styles—it’s not uncommon for JIJI to play selections from the baroque period and from The Wizard of Oz in the same show. “I like playing pieces that I love,” JIJI once said in a 2018 interview with Harvard Radio Broadcasting. “It doesn’t really matter what century that’s from.” JIJI plays at 3 p.m. on March 19 at the National Gallery of Art. nga.gov. Free; registration required.