Helen Sung Trio

Wednesday, June 8

BLU Jazz+, Akron, Ohio

“...Anthem for a New Day, her most vibrant effort to date — splashed with Fender Rhodes, propelled by lyrical discovery — showcasing Sung's own tunes as well as readings of Monk, Ellington, Chick Corea, and Stanley Cowell. On the bandstand, this material can go in any and all directions.”

Village Voice

BLU Jazz+, located at 47 E. Market Street in Akron, Ohio is proud to present the Helen Sung Trio on Wednesday, June 8 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $20 and can be reserved online here or by calling (330) 252-1190.

Award-winning New York City-based pianist & composer extraordinaire Helen Sung brings a red hot trio to Akron for her return appearance at BLU Jazz+! Accompanied by her long-time collaborators bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Rudy Royston, Sung’s music builds on the new found vistas of her acclaimed 2014 Concord Jazz release Anthem For A New Day while continuing her quest for artistic discovery. Her inspiration comes from diverse and unexpected places - for example, her growing familiarity with and admiration of Charles Mingus (through her work with the Mingus Big Band) has resulted in new compositions that speak, as he did so masterfully, to both contemporary and timeless issues facing our society. In addition, Sung draws inspiration from the colors and textures of her classical training, as well as her recent Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation ‘New Jazz Works’ Grant project Sung With Words, a collaboration with California Poet Laureate (and former National Endowment for the Arts Chairman) Dana Gioia, which premiered at the revered Jazz Gallery in New York City last December to a packed house.

Since her graduation from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in the late nineties, Sung has established herself as a bright star on the contemporary jazz scene. A Houston, TX, native but a New Yorker since 1999, she has performed internationally with her own groups and with luminaries such as Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Victor Lewis, Steve Turre, Wayne Shorter, and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter. Her sixth release as a leader and major label debut, Anthem For a New Day, brought Sung to the top of the jazz radio charts and the top quadrant of the Billboard Jazz album chart.

With music that has been called “soulful,” “smart,” punctuated by irresistible grooves, Sung is thrilling audiences everywhere. More information about Helen Sung can be found at www.helensung.com.


Pianist/composer Helen Sung hails from Houston, TX, where she attended the 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 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance (at the New England Conservatory) and win the Kennedy Center's Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition.

Sung's sixth release as leader, Anthem For A New Day (2014) was her major label debut on Concord Jazz. It topped jazz radio charts, reached #25 on the Billboard Jazz Album chart, and garnered a SESAC Performance Activity Award. With appearances at major festivals/venues including Newport, Monterey, Detroit, SFJAZZ, and Carnegie Hall, Sung is also stepping onto the international stage: her NuGenerations Project toured southern Africa as a U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassador, and recent engagements include European tours promoting Anthem, the London Jazz Festival, and Shanghai's "JZ Festival". In addition to her own band, Sung can currently be seen with such fine ensembles as the Mingus Big Band and Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project (she also performed on Terri Lyne Carrington's Grammy-winning album Mosaic Project).

A dynamic composer, Sung has completed various commissions and was awarded a 2014 Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation "New Jazz Works” Grant, enabling her to create and premiere Sung With Words, a “music-inspiring-poetry-inspiring-music” collaborative project with acclaimed poet Dana Gioia, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and California’s new Poet Laureate. Inspired by her experience at the Monk Institute, Sung stays involved in music education through residencies and workshops/clinics, and in the Fall of 2015 joined the jazz faculties at the Juilliard School and Columbia University.