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Helen Sung

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The winner of the 2007 Mary Lou Williams Piano Competition, pianist Helen Sung is an adroit improviser with a bent toward straight-ahead jazz and post-bop. A native of Houston, Texas, Sung studied classical piano growing up and attended Houston's High School for the Performing Arts before earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees in classical piano from the University of Texas at Austin. It was during her time in college that Sung became interested in jazz, and after graduating in 1995 she enrolled in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, which was then at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music. Eventually, Sung relocated to New York City. She has performed with a bevy of name artists including trumpeter Clark Terry, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, trumpeter Jon Faddis, and many others, and performs regularly with the Mingus Big Band. On her own, she has released several albums, including 2004's Push, 2006's Helenistique, 2007's Sungbird (After Albeniz), and 2010's Going Express. In 2014, Sung delivered her first quintet album, Anthem for a New Day, featuring trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, saxophonist Seamus Blake, and others. ~ Matt Collar

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Houston, TX

Years Active:

'00s, '10s