Helen Sung – pianist, composer and educator. Winner of the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Piano Competition and 2019 Jazz Artist-in-Resident for Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute, Helen Sung has worked with jazz luminaries including the late Clark Terry, Wayne Shorter, Regina Carter, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Cecile McLorin Salvant. But Sung With Words might end up being her most celebrated to date: released in September 2018, the album was showcased on NPR’s First Listen and Here & Now, and jazz publications Downbeat and Jazztimes.
Made possible by a 2014 Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation New Jazz Works grant, the project is the result of a collaboration between Sung and California State Poet Laureate Dana Gioia. Utilizing jazz and poetry as catalysts to create new music, Sung With Words is a multi-movement work of original vocal songs (using Gioia’s poems as lyrics) and instrumental compositions (inspired by words) exploring themes of the human condition: love, wonder, betrayal, melancholy and mystery.
See Helen Sung play at the Jazz Forum in Tarrytown, NY, on May 31 & June 1!