Kym Purling

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Kym Purling
Born (1972-11-02) November 2, 1972 (age 46)
Saigon, South Vietnam
GenresJazz, musical theater, world music
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, conductor, arranger, educator
Years active1990–present
LabelsRound, Baron Ulf's 5 Spot

Kym Purling is an Australian pianist, composer, and conductor from Vietnam.


Purling was found abandoned at the age of two or three years old during the Vietnam War.[1] After spending the first several months of his life in two orphanages, he was became the first international adoption of any nationality in Australia.

Purling began formal musical training at age five or six and received his high school education at Westminster School, a private school in Adelaide, South Australia. He later completed a Bachelor of Music in jazz Studies at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, where he formed the first Kym Purling Trio. The trio received wide recognition all around Australia and also served as the rhythm section for many of Australia's leading jazz musicians and vocalists. During this time, still in his early twenties, Purling recorded his first albums, Trio Juice, Catherine Lambert & The Kym Purling Trio, and Let's Swing!

In 1996, Purling served as an Ambassador for the Performing Arts between Australia and Vietnam. This was Purling's first return to his homeland since his adoption. During Purling's ambassadorship, he held sold-out concerts in concerts halls around Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, introducing jazz to the Vietnamese people. During the residency, Purling also taught many children, students and professional musicians and made recordings for educational purposes. He featured in many newspaper articles and radio interviews during the time he spent in Vietnam. Purling's work in Vietnam crossed many cultural and language barriers, proving that music is the universal language. He did not know any of the Vietnamese language before arriving there.

Purling returned to Australia and later moved to the United States. As a jazz pianist, composer, conductor, arranger and educator, Purling has performed and worked throughout Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. He has opened concerts for Julio Iglesias, Harry Connick Jr., Sandra Bernhard, James Morrison, Ray Brown, and Arturo Sandoval and has performed with the Mills Brothers, Buddy Greco, Kay Starr, Clint Holmes, David Cassidy, and Natalie Cole.

Purling moved to New York City and worked as a music director and conductor of touring Broadway shows and spent the next five years traveling around the U.S., Canada, and Japan, with Broadway shows Footloose, 42nd Street, and Miss Saigon.[1]

Purling was later appointed as musical director, conductor and pianist for vocal legend, Engelbert Humperdinck. With Humperdinck and his band, Purling conducted and performed in many of the world's most famous concert halls and arenas around the world.

Purling perform concerts to benefit humanitarian projects worldwide, including on May 6, 2015 in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he raised money for victims of earthquakes in Nepal.[2]


Kym Purling Awards
Year Category Title Result Notes
1996 Most Outstanding Pianist of the Year South Australian Music Industry Awards Winner


  1. ^ a b Carole McCauley, Mary (26 December 2002). "Searching for keys to identity". tribunedigital-baltimoresun. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
  2. ^ Purling, Kym (1999-05-31). "Triumphant homecoming for young Australian jazz whiz - ABC 7:30 Report" (TV). Interviewed by Kerry O'Brien. Retrieved 2008-10-20.

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