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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Concert preview: Dark quests of an ancient goddess becomes new music for Connie Han

Connie Han in black midriff jacket
Robert Lyndon
Pianist/composer Connie Han

At 4 pm on Sunday, Dec 11 in the Wellspring Theatre of the Epic Center, the Gilmore Piano Festivalwill present jazz pianist and composer Connie Han with her trio on the Rising Stars Series. She spoke to Cara Lieurance from her home in Los Angeles about working on her latest album, Secrets of Inanna, with drummer and composer Bill Wysaske.

Inanna was one of the most powerful deities in ancient Mesopotamia. The stories of her mythic challenges, such as confronting her shadow self in the underworld, gave Han and Wysaske a lot to talk about and write about. Han says being labeled by the press as a prodigy disvalued the technical, emotional and spiritual work it took to become the artist she is. "I challenged myself to no end physically, spiritually, mentally to get to where I am," she says. Featured music in the interview includes "Prima Materia" and "Gilgamesh and the Celestial Bull."

Connie Han will be joined by drummer Bill Wysaske and bassist Ryan Berg on Sunday. Tickets and more information are available at the Gilmore Piano Festival website.

Cara Lieurance is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on 1021 WMUK and covers local arts & culture on Let's Hear It on 89.9 Classical WMUK weekday mornings at 10 - 11 am.