Saturday, September 18th
Helen Sung Quartet +
Helen Sung Quartet + with guest violinist Jannina Norpoth
Helen Sung is an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, and a newly named 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. A native of Houston, Texas, and graduate of its High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), she eschewed her classical piano upbringing after a chance encounter with jazz during undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Helen went on to graduate from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (now the Herbie Hancock Institute) at the New England Conservatory of Music and win the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition. Her albums have topped the jazz radio charts, and her newest release Quartet+ (Sunnyside Records) is a “double quartet” recording of music composed by women, performed by her quartet together with special guest Harlem Quartet. Helen and her band have performed at major American festivals and venues including Newport, Monterey, SFJAZZ, Disney Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Internationally, her “NuGenerations” Project toured southern Africa as a U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassador, and recent engagements include debuts at the London Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, Blue Note Beijing, and the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival. She has worked with such luminaries as the late Clark Terry, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis (who named her as one of his “Who’s Got Next: Jazz Musicians to Watch!”), MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter, and Grammy-winning artists including Terri Lyne Carrington and Cecile McLorin Salvant. She currently performs with such fine ensembles as the Mingus Big Band and McLorin Salvant’s Ogresse. Helen is a Steinway Artist, and has served on the jazz faculties at Berklee College of Music, the Juilliard School, and Columbia University, where she also was the inaugural jazz artist-in-residence at Columbia’s prestigious Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute.