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Helen Sung & Dana Gioia

Piedmont Piano Company is pleased to present


Helen Sung & Dana Gioia
“Sung — With Spoken Word”

Pianist & Composer Helen Sung released Sung With Words: A Collaboration with Dana Gioia in 2018, a project and album made possible by a Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation “New Jazz Works” grant. Sung utilizes jazz and poetry as catalysts to create new music, creating a multi-movement work exploring themes of the human condition: love, betrayal, wonder, melancholy and mystery. For their performance at Piedmont Piano, they will present selections from Sung With Words as well as jazz & poetry improvisations, showcasing an artistic partnership that continues to grow and evolve.

NPR “First Listen” Feature (Sept.6, 2018)

$20 General Admission

Pianist/Composer Helen Sung hails from Houston, TX, where she was a classical student at the High School for the Performing & Visual Arts (HSPVA). Continuing her studies at the University of Texas at Austin, a chance meeting with jazz resulted in a course change: 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. Now based in New York City, Sung maintains a full schedule of performing, touring, and recording. In addition to her own band, she has worked with such jazz luminaries as the late Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Marsalis, MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter, and ensembles including the Mingus Big Band, Lea Delaria’s House of David Project, and Terri Lyne Carrington's Mosaic Project.

She has served on the jazz faculties at Berklee College of Music and the Juilliard School. In 2017, the University of Texas College of Fine Arts awarded Sung with its highest honor – the E. William Doty Distinguished Alumna Award, and HSPVA inducted her into its Jazz Hall of Fame. In January 2019, Sung was named the inaugural jazz-artist-in-residence at Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute.

Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia is a native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent. He received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. Gioia currently serves as the Poet Laureate of California. 

Gioia has published five full-length collections of poetry, most recently 99 Poems: New & Selected. His poetry collection, Interrogations at Noon, won the 2002 American Book Award. An influential critic as well, Gioia’s 1991 volume Can Poetry Matter?, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is credited with helping to revive the role of poetry in American public culture. In 2014 he won the Aiken-Taylor Award for lifetime achievement in American poetry.

Gioia has been the recipient of ten honorary degrees. He has won numerous awards, including the 2010 Laetare Medal from Notre Dame. He and his wife, Mary, have two sons. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California.

Earlier Event: March 8
Jazz Search West Competition #2
Later Event: March 15
Geoffrey Keezer & Taylor Eigsti