Helen Sung Wins 2022 Charlie Parker Prize

Published: 07.08.2022

Above: Photo by Joseph Boggess

Helen Sung was awarded the 2022 Charlie Parker Prize at BMI’s 33rd Annual Jazz Composers Workshop Summer Showcaseheld  held at Dizzy’s Club in New York. The evening was hosted by Musical Director Andy Farber and Assistant Musical Director Alan Ferber and judged by a panel of esteemed jazz musicians and composers including Michael Abene, Marcus Printup and Rufus Reid. In addition to receiving the prestigious Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize, the BMI Foundation also awarded Sung the $3,000 Manny Albam commission — named in memory of the workshop’s late founder and longtime music director — to compose a new piece that will premiere at next year’s showcase.

"Thank you to BMI for creating and supporting the Jazz Composer’s Workshop" said Sung , "I am delighted and honored to get this “green light” to keep writing!" The evening concluded with 2021 prize recipients Chuck Iwanusa and Tracy Yang debuting their commissioned compositions, “No Man’s Land” and “Sea Swell (Scene Taiwan II).”

Pianist/composer and 2021 Guggenheim Fellow Helen Sung is currently based in New York City, from where she maintains a schedule of performing, touring, teaching, and recording: her latest project Quartet+, made possible by a NYFA NYC Women’s Fund grant, was released on Sunnyside Records in September 2021.In addition to her own band, Helen has performed with such luminaries as Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Regina Carter, and fine ensembles including the Mingus Big Band and Cecile McLorin Salvant’s Ogresse project. She has served on the faculties of the Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music, and Columbia University, where she also was the inaugural jazz artist-in-residence at Columbia's Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute. Helen is a Steinway Artist.