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Helen Sung: When Helen Met Harry

As a student at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Helen Sung was being groomed to become a classical pianist when she experienced her first jazz epiphany, sending her radically off course and careening headlong into a new musical world.

“Thinking back, other than seeing Peanuts and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood on TV, I probably didn’t hear any jazz at all growing up,” she recalls. “And later on I was just very focused on the classical thing, always in the practice room. So I didn’t know who Miles was or Monk, Bird or anyone else, I’m embarrassed to say.”

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