Pianist/composer Helen Sung shares some of her original music, including selections from her upcoming album Quartet+, in the context of her experience as a Chinese-American growing up in a family culture that valued deference and "real jobs" and her struggle to pursue a quest for personal and artistic authenticity. This presentation, part musical and part oral testimony, touches on such themes as the implications of heritage, the impact of racial stereotypes and the role of the individual.
Helen Sung is an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer. Her recent releases Sung with Words (Stricker Street, 2018), a collaborative project with internationally acclaimed poet Dana Gioia, and Anthem for a New Day (Concord Jazz, 2014), topped the jazz charts. Her band has performed at festivals/venues including Newport, Monterey, Detroit, SFJAZZ and Carnegie Hall. Her “NuGenerations" Project toured southern Africa as a U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassador, and recent international engagements include debuts at the London Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, Blue Note Beijing and the Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival. Sung currently performs with such fine ensembles as the Mingus Big Band and Grammy-winning Cecile McLorin Salvant’s Ogresse. Sung is a Steinway Artist and has served on the jazz faculties at Berklee College of Music, the Juilliard School and Columbia University, where she was the inaugural jazz artist-in-residence at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute.