A semi-finalist of the Montreux Jazz Voice Competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland 2017, Helena has wowed audiences with her nuanced interpretations of jazz standards and exhilarating vocal improvisations. Her charisma and amazing energy on stage is fueled by her great love for music, singing and in particular, vocal improvisation.
Growing up in a musical family, Helena Hulsman was immersed in music since a young age. Trained in drums since the age of 14, Helena was first exposed to jazz by participating in jazz workshops and courses in jazz drums during her university studies (Marine Biology) in Amsterdam. She formed a folk/pop band led by her friend Annemarie Brijder, in which she played cajon, djembe, ukulele and xylophone, and sang backing vocals to Dutch and French originals by Annemarie.
Her interest in jazz and her passion for singing led her to seek vocal training with established Rotterdam singers and educators Ntjam Rosie and Ai Ming Oei.
In 2014, Helena participated as jazz vocalist in a North Sea Jazz Round Town Jazz Recordings workshop series, led by established double bass player Stefan Lievestro, which resulted in a performance at LantarenVenster during the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam.
In April 2017, Helena participated in an intensive Jazz @ Red Dot workshop in Singapore, organized by JazzAsia, where she was coached by US faculty Rory Stuart, Camila Meza and Jason Palmer.