Sarah Massey: The General Assembly of the University of North Carolina Honors My Grandfather

Play Audio Clip Listen to audio clip. Coming to concert hall, the piano called to Sarah Massey from an unfamiliar musician. “Her teacher was responding that this sound has real possibilities,” says Massey on…

Sarah Massey: The General Assembly of the University of North Carolina Honors My Grandfather

Play Audio Clip Listen to audio clip.

Coming to concert hall, the piano called to Sarah Massey from an unfamiliar musician.

“Her teacher was responding that this sound has real possibilities,” says Massey on “The Steve Malzberg Show.”

Pianist Wilsyn Butler, who started her career at the ages of 6 and 9 playing with her beloved late Grandmother whose life was devoted to the piano, was introduced to Massey’s Chopin Piano concerto.

“I noticed that this sound he was making wasn’t like the sounds I was doing. At a slow tempo he had this music already written in his head. And then I started to play at that tempo, with the tempo that I had played with her, but I’m still in pieces trying to figure it out.”

While Butler is constantly learning, she loves developing her versatility and is now learning the Gigue for the first time.

“I enjoy the process because I’m always in a state of learning.”

With new friends like Selvin Berry, Massey wants to make sure that Americans are paying attention to the music around them.

“The General Assembly of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill passed a resolution on March 28, honoring my grandfather and my family and the hard work they’ve put into this music. I remember it as being a low, low pass with no procedure. No vote, so I didn’t learn any other instruments or music classes that day because I was like — I’m going to give it my all because this means a lot.”

Next up for Massey and her full band: Cajun food and a day trip to Italy.

“Because my grandpa was so big on that.”

— With The Steve Malzberg Show @TheMarmaladeProductions

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