Grammy-winning artist Karim Sulayman performs at YSU

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown State University’s Pipino Performing Arts Series wrapped up for the season on Saturday night.

Grammy-winning artist Karim Sulayman sang for a crowd of mostly fellow musicians.

“You just have to bring quality art to this field,” said Dana School of Music principal Joe Carucci.

Sulayman won a Grammy in 2019 for Best Classical Vocal Solo.

“For the Pipino series, we always try to give students a chance to work with the guest artists,” said Kivie Cahn-Lipman, a cello professor at YSU.

Music students like Jae Mack had the opportunity to work with Sulayman during a master class.

“When a teacher gives a public lesson, sort of partially speaking to an audience, partially working one-on-one with the student in front of an audience,” Cahn-Lipman said.

“We worked on how to interpret my songs, things that I can do with my voice to make certain parts of the song more interesting,” Mack said.

The performers said they were thrilled to be back on stage after a pandemic hiatus.

“It’s great to connect with people live and make music on the spot,” said pianist Yi-Heng Yang.

“No matter how big the audience, COVID was a reminder that we’re supposed to love what we do. I think taking it away from us reminded us that we’re here for a reason,” Sulayman said.

But sharing their wealth of student knowledge has been a rewarding experience.

“I love working with students, I’m at an age now where I have a certain amount of knowledge and it wouldn’t be right for me to keep it all to myself,” Sulayman said.

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