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Hybrid Jazz has always strived to show class, dignity and variety with each episode. What you'll hear on 7/22/14 takes all of that to a new level. Helen Sung has been captivating listeners - via recording or live - since she emerged on the New York scene in the late 90's. But I'm getting ahead of myself ;)
Born to Chinese immigrants in Houston, our guest was playing piano at five. Her teacher was strict and permitted Helen to play only Classical music - which she did throughout her education at the respected Houston High School of Performing and Visual Arts. Her motivation for college: to teach and to perform when possible. All that changed when she saw Harry Connick, Jr., on stage - in Helen's last year of University of Texas at Austin.
The transition was swift. Obsessed with visualizing Harry's fingers on the piano, Helen got a hold of Everything-That-Is-Jazz: from Jelly Roll Morton to Keith Jarrett. She received dual degrees in Texas, but her eye was on the inaugural program at the Thelonious Monk Institute in Boston. It was mutual love - Helen's unique talent was now under the watchful eye of Artistic Director, Ron Carter. She toured with the Cream of the Jazz Crop - across the water with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. It changed her life. And ours who are fans.
That move to New York cemented what many already knew, including Wynton Marsalis, who now has HIS eye on where Helen Sung will land next. Terri Lyne Carrington knows, Helen having been a key component in the award-winning "Mosaic Project" in 2011. The Kennedy Center realizes her power, too - she is a recipient of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition.
Her sixth project, "Anthem For a New Day" is brilliant and brave. We could go ON for days about Helen Sung - but let HER tell her story: on 7/22/14 :)
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