Classically trained Houstonian Helen Sung, who's on her way back to Houston to sing at Cezanne Jazz this weekend, was bitten by the jazz bug early on in her musical career - an event that dramatically changed her vision on music.
"I thought I wanted to be a concert pianist and was finishing my undergraduate degree in classical piano performance at the University of Texas at Austin when a friend invited me to a Harry Connick, Jr. concert," she explained via e-mail.
"He was appearing in Austin with his big band, which was entertaining, but in the middle of the concert he sat down and played some solo piano pieces. I remember wanting to jump out of my skin - here was a guy playing the piano in a way I had been taught all my life not to do, playing music that was so alive, so vivid and thrilling - it was a visceral experience. After that, I immediately enrolled in an Intro to Jazz Piano class with some friends, and then it was no looking back: I listened to whatever I could get my hands on, read whatever books I could find, begged the UT jazz piano professor for lessons, enrolled in jazz courses...I really wanted to understand everything about jazz and be a part of it."More »