Celebrating Mary Lou Williams – An Evening of Live Performance and Film
Past Event

Mary Lou Williams was a giant of jazz and of jazz piano playing. Her lifetime and playing styles spanned several sub-genres. As Duke Ellington said, “She was perpetually contemporary”. She began playing professionally when boogie and stride piano were the jazz styles of the day and she continued to evolve her playing ahead of each new sub-genre of jazz that developed in the 20th century. Thus we can turn to Mary Lou’s music, her compositions and playing, to hear the history of jazz in the 20th century.

Pianist and composer Ann Reynolds and Filmmaker Kay D. Ray are putting together a show Celebrating Mary Lou Williams An Evening of Live Performance and Film, using her compositions and favorite pieces performed by NW musicians. The live performances will be interspersed with archival film interview clips and rare performance footage of Mary Lou Williams to tell the story.

The musicians who will be performing tonight include, Alex Guilbert (piano), Nelda Swiggett (piano), Heather Chriscaden (bass), Maria Wulf,(drums), Ann Reynolds (piano), Kent Stevenson (piano), Terry Morgan (bass), Freddy Fuego Gonzalez (flute/trombone), Steven Banks (drums), and Reggie Garrett (vocals).  Film editing by Susan Merrill.


Photo: Portrait of Mary Lou Williams, New York, N.Y. ca. 1946 by William P. Gottlieb

Artwork: Julie Sevilla Drake, Bear Falls Apart, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist.


Nov 1, 2023
7:00pm – 9:00pm


BIMA Auditorium



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