Helen Sung

jazz piano

Pianist/composer Helen Sung hails from Houston, TX, where she attended its renowned High School for the Performing & Visual Arts. An aspiring classical pianist before jazz intervened during undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Sung went on to graduate from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (at New England Conservatory). Now based in New York City, Sung has worked with such luminaries as Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Steve Turre, Wayne Shorter, and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter. In 2007 she won the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition.

Besides touring/performing and recording, Sung has completed composition commissions for the West Chester University Poetry Conference, North Coast Brewing Company, JazzReach, and in 2010 won a composition residency at Flushing Town Hall. She produced a Jazz Week program benefiting underserved youth in Camden, NJ (through a Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation grant), and regularly presents workshops and clinics. Sung received a 2014 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant, and a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation USArtists International grant enabled her to debut at the 2014 Wigan International Jazz Festival (UK). From 2011-2014, she was an Associate Professor of Piano at the Berklee College of Music.

With five albums as leader to her credit, Sung’s sixth release Anthem For A New Day (2014) is her major label debut on Concord Records. With appearances at major festivals including Monterey, Detroit, Portland, and the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Festival, Sung is also stepping onto the international stage: her NuGenerations Project toured southern Africa as a US State Department Jazz Ambassador, and other engagements include a European CD Release Tour for Anthem, Shanghai's “JZ Festival”, the Morelia Festival de Música and 2015 "NY Jazz All-Stars" Tour (Mexico), and Shisha International Jazz Festival (India). In addition to her own band, Sung can also currently be seen with fine ensembles including the Mingus Big Band & Dynasty Band, T.S.Monk Sextet, and Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project (Sung also recorded on Carrington's 2011 Grammy-winning “Mosaic Project”).