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Helen Sung Wins Charlie Parker Prize/Manny Albam Commission at BMI’s Jazz Composers Showcase

Posted in News on June 15, 2022
BMI’s Senior Director of Jazz and Musical Theatre Patrick Cook gathers for a photo with Associate Musical Director Alan Ferber, prize winner Helen Sung, and Musical Director Andy Farber at the 33rd Annual BMI Jazz Composers Workshop Summer Showcase at Dizzy’s in New York City.
BMI’s Senior Director of Jazz and Musical Theatre Patrick Cook gathers for a photo with Associate Musical Director Alan Ferber, prize winner Helen Sung, and Musical Director Andy Farber at the 33rd Annual BMI Jazz Composers Workshop Summer Showcase at Dizzy’s in New York City. Photo: Ezekiel Jeremiah for BMI.

BMI’s 33rd annual Jazz Composers Workshop Summer Showcase, held at Dizzy’s Club in New York City on June 13, featured the best new big band and jazz orchestra compositions created in the workshop during the 2021-2022 season. 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.

The BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra performed eight works, including: “The Deep End” by Todd Anderson, “Vaqueiro” by Ann Belmont, “Water Lillies” by Patrick Cornelius, “The Goodtime Gardens” by Ethan Helm, “Summer’s Ending” by Mike Malone, “Tis Bottle” by Len Pierro, and “Minor Feelings” by Rin Seo. After an evening of incredible performances, Helen Sung’s “Jazz Portraits: II. Wayne Shorter” was chosen as the winning piece by the judges. 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.

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).”