2022 JAZZ IN JUNE FESTIVAL

Helen Sung Quartet

FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2022 at 8:00PM

Venue Berlind Theater

OVERVIEW

What’s striking…is an openness of vision, paired with a looseness of execution. Ms. Sung sounds both relaxed and searching, and she imparts the same qualities to her crew.

The New York Times

Pianist, composer, and 2021 Guggenheim fellow Helen Sung brings her stellar quartet featuring saxophonist John Ellis, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Kush Abadey, plus guest violinist Sara Caswell, to perform music from Sung’s 2021 Sunnyside release Quartet+. As a first-generation, American-born daughter of Chinese immigrants and a classical musician who transitioned to jazz in her early twenties, Helen's desire to harmonize these different worlds with joy and humanity is at the heart of Quartet+, which features her original compositions and new arrangements of work by landmark women composers including Geri Allen, Mary Lou Williams, Carla Bley, Marian McPartland, and Toshiko Akiyoshi.

Helen Sung is an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, and a 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 jazz epiphany during undergraduate studies at UT Austin. Helen went on to become part of the inaugural class of the Thelonious Monk Institute (now the Herbie Hancock Institute) at the New England Conservatory of Music.  

 

Her recent releases Sung With Words (Stricker Street), a collaborative project with renowned poet Dana Gioia, and Anthem ForA New Day (Concord Jazz) topped the jazz charts. Quartet+ (Sunnyside Records), her latest release, followed suit, garnering a 4.5 starDownBeat review and inclusion in its "Best of 2021 Albums" list and a JazzTimes cover story (January 2022 issue).  

 

Helen and her band have performed at major American festivals and venues including Newport, Monterey, Disney Hall, SFJAZZ, 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 performed 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 Award®-winning artists including Terri Lyne Carrington, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and the Mingus Big Band. 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. 

Helen Sung - Piano

John Ellis - Saxophone

Matt Penman - Bass

Kush Abadey - Drums

Sara Caswell - Guest Violinist

 

PERFORMANCES

VIDEOS

Helen Sung Quartet at Frankie's