Helen Curtis is a professional pianist, singer and percussionist who works and teaches in a versatile array of musical genres from classical to world folk music, tinges of jazz and original. She is a highly regarded performer who has played in an exciting array of projects at events, festivals and venues. Helen is a very popular private teacher and group/workshop leader who instills confidence, musicality and good practice ethos to her students. Her reputation is well regarded among the musical community in the UK and within the countries of her greatest influences. She lives nestled and inspired in the lush valley of Mytholmroyd near Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire.
Helen's musical journey began at a young age nurtured within a musical family and upbringing. As a trained classical pianist, Helen's natural inclination to rhythm and close harmony as well as her Swiss maternal roots have led her to the sounds of Eastern Europe, Switzerland,Georgia, Brazil and Cuba.
Among her projects, Helen performs in Satteli, her Swiss yodelling vocal duo together with her sister Louise. Helen is an artist with the internationally acclaimed arts organisation Global Grooves and is pianist and coro singer in the top Cuban band Charanga Del Norte. Helen directs the community choir Zarebi who specialise in Georgian song, and led the percussion and dance project Orixa Bloco, writing original music to be performed.
Since graduating from Leeds College of Music in 2000, Helen has continued to seek out inspiring mentors who can continue to feed her instatiable desire for music. She has visited her countries of 'special musical interest' for study as well as to perform. Among these teachers/mentors, Helen has studied with Julian Cima on the piano, Malkhaz Erkvanidze in Georgian music, Miriam Schafroth in Swiss yodelling and mestres from Olodum and Ile Aiye in Brazilian percussion. She holds precious relationships with her mentors and continues to grow as a musician and as a teacher.
Among many performances and events, some of Helen's highlights include-
- Singing with Satteli at Musicport main stage and being heard on 'Late Night Junction' BBC Radio 3.
- Supporting 'The Warsaw Village Band' with Samzeo, Georgian vocal quartet and recieving a standing ovation at 'The Howard Assembly Rooms' in Leeds.
- Helen's lockdown solo piano performance at 'The Vale Live'.
- Writing and directing the music for the carnival version of 'The Tempest' with Global Grooves.
Helen believes that music can benefit everyone- playing an instrument and singing stimulates the brain, and improves mental well-being, it can develop self confidence and is a wonderful way of meeting new friends. Music is so vast, with so many potential experiences and so much music to explore and hear. You could be practicing at home or playing with a small ensemble or a large group, you could be in a quiet musical setting or the polar opposite at carnival hemmed by thousands of jostling people. It is a great builder of the self and the community. Through music you may learn about life, people, the mind and the world.
Music is intangible and ever-lasting adventure.