Thu May 23, 2024

One of the leading pianists in contemporary jazz


Doors: 7:30 PM   Show: 8:00 PM

Hailed by Variety Magazine as “one of contemporary jazz’s most talented and inventive musicians,” 27-year-old piano wizard and composer Connie Han has established herself as one of the leading innovators in the contemporary jazz piano pantheon. Downbeat Magazine dubs Han “The Jazz Warrior-Goddess,” describing her with “a skill and ferocity unmatched by all but the most accomplished of pianists.” 

Recognized by The New York Times as “the rare musician with fearsome technical chops and a breadth of historical knowledge,” the Steinway Artist’s signature percussion-inclusive language is marked by her rhythmic autonomy of the hands, pyrotechnic command of the keyboard, and a profound reverence for the musical legends who’ve influenced her style — Kenny Kirkland, Freddie Hubbard, Vladimir Horowitz, Hank Jones, and Art Tatum.

With an interpretation that belies her age, Han’s expertise shines in the piano trio idiom. Paved by Chick Corea/Roy Haynes and McCoy Tyner/Elvin Jones, the timeless drum-piano tradition is explored in Han’s interplay with longtime collaborator/drummer Bill Wysaske. The two like minds and their combined chemistry has proven exceptionally fruitful in Han’s career, as Wysaske’s myriad contributions include concept development, production, composition, and arrangement on all three albums released by Mack Avenue Records.

Perhaps the most provocative trait which sets Han apart is her use of mythology, sci-fi cinema/literature, and Japanese animated media in her work. Han’s latest release Secrets of Inanna is a jazz portrait of the ancient proto-goddess of Love and Beauty, Inanna. The album reconstructs the Sumerian mythos of the goddess’s solitary descent into the abyss of her soul: the underworld. As told in the Sumerian legend The Descent of Inanna, the heroine’s quest and prophetic evolution can only be completed with Inanna’s commitment to endure immeasurable suffering —a metamorphosis in which she kills her prior self and is ultimately reborn as the Queen of Heaven and Earth.

Han believes in the power of myth to lead a grounded existence as an artist and human being. The wisdom imparted by epics such as The Descent of Inanna is as meaningful to Han’s work as her influences. Throughout Connie’s own journey, music continues to prove itself as meditative sanctuary and a constant truth of life. It is part of her vision to embolden and inspire audiences of all ages with storytelling through the jazz piano idiom.

Gustav Mahler once said, “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” With each upcoming performance and recording date, Connie Han continues to fulfill this axiom with tenacity and identity — standing on the shoulders of giants who have so deeply impacted her artistry.

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