11th Annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival

Thursday, May 11, 2006 - Saturday, May 13, 2006

Dee Dee Bridgewater and NEA Jazz Master Abbey Lincoln will perform in the 2006 festival, as well as many others to be announced.



Run Time:

Approx. 90 minutes

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Don't miss this popular Kennedy Center festival that showcases some of today's top female jazz artists! 

Dee Dee Bridgewater and NEA Jazz Master Abbey Lincoln will perform in the 2006 festival, as well as Jessica Williams, Daniela Schaechter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Sarah Morrow, Mimi Fox, Trudy Pitts, Ernestine Anderson, and Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra. Past participants have included Marian McPartland, Diane Schuur, Jane Monheit, Hiromi, and Geri Allen.

 "The music speaks volumes about the contributions women have made to jazz--and continue to make--both here and abroad" (The Washington Post). The Kennedy Center will also host its 2nd Annual Women in Jazz Pianist Competition, in which five pianists will play in the finals on the Millennium Stage. The 2005 winner, Daniela Schaechter, will perform as part of the festival's evening concerts. For complete competition information, please call (202) 416-8811.



Jessica Williams
One of today's finest improvisational jazz pianists, Jessica Williams forges a distinctive, multi-layered sound infused with heart and soul. Dave Brubeck calls her "one of the greatest pianists I've ever heard." At the concert, she opens the festival with the debut of a suite dedicated to Dr. Billy Taylor.

Sarah Morrow 4tet
Discovered by Ray Charles, trombonist Sarah Morrow was the first female instrumentalist to become a member of his orchestra. After touring with him, she joined former Miles Davis bassist Foley in Europe as part of a three-horn section playing funk. All About Jazz hails her work on the slide trombone as "first-rate, bluesy, swinging, blaring, and bold."

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Grammy and Tony Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater is touted by the Village Voice as "the most capable jazz singer of her generation…she is the gold standard by which all divas will now be measured, a total package entertainer."


Daniela Schaechter Quartet, featuring Terri Lyne Carrington
The winner of last year's inaugural Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Pianist Competition, Daniela Schaechter balances "fluid improvisations with a soulful touch, adding subtle harmonic accents here and there" (The Washington Post). Performing with Schaechter's quartet is Grammy-nominated drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, a veteran of the 1998 and 2003 Women in Jazz festivals.

Mimi Fox
From urgent bop-fueled romps and earthy blues to gorgeous ballads, alluring bossas, and sensuous sambas, guitarist Mimi Fox displays a masterful command of the fretboard, for which she's been named a "Rising Star" in three consecutive Down Beat polls. Guitar Player Magazine says, "Fox is a prodigious talent who has not only mastered the traditional forms, but has managed to reinvigorate them."

NEA Jazz Master Abbey Lincoln
Legendary songstress and actress Abbey Lincoln possesses a magical voice, which New York Newsday calls "an agile heat ray shooting past the nerve endings toward the soul's very core." A recipient of one of the NEA's prestigious 2003 Jazz Masters Fellowships, Lincoln has a style that "remains unique in jazz, a blend of soulful idealism and metaphysical leanings" (JazzTimes). 

2006 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival Award: Patti Bown 
 The Friday evening concert will also include the presentation of this year's Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival Award to Patti Bown for her lifetime of service to jazz. A queen of jazz, Bown is a jazz pianist "with a strong, adventurous approach, a melodic instinct, and an intense sense of rhythm" (The New York Times). A frequent collaborator with Quincy Jones, Patti Bown has also accompanied Billy Eckstine, Dinah Washington, and Leon Redbone.


Trudy Pitts & Friends
Philadelphia native Trudy Pitts, with her "fresh style complementing both avant adventurers and soul-jazz groovers" (Philadelphia Weekly), has performed on her Hammond B-3 organ with such jazz luminaries as John Coltrane, Grover Washington Jr., and Dakota Station. She also appeared at the Women in Jazz festival in 1997 and 2000, and served as a judge for last year's inaugural Women in Jazz Pianist Competition.

Ernestine Anderson
Ernestine Anderson has been singing jazz for more than 50 years, and she doesn't show signs of slowing down anytime soon. An acknowledged virtuoso of the blues, she is equally superb with ballads and swing. From intimate trio formats to big band, she does it all with seductive sophistication. "Cruising through a typical set of blues, sultry torch songs, and up-tempo cookers, Anderson conveys a hypnotic and sensual presence" (Los Angeles Times).

Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra
DIVA is a romping, stomping, free-swinging, and exceptionally talented 15-member ensemble that is taking the jazz world by storm. Comprised entirely of women, this group led by drummer Sherrie Maricle is carrying the legacy of big bands like a torch into the new millennium, and lighting the way for fresh new faces in the world of jazz. JazzTimes says, "If there were still big band cutting sessions, DIVA would swing a lot of the remaining big bands out of the place."


IAJE Sisters in Jazz Collegiate All-Stars
In cooperation with the International Association for Jazz Education.
FRIDAY, MAY 12 AT 12–2 P.M. & 6–7 P.M.
Second Annual Women in Jazz Pianist Competition
A Performance Plus ™ Event
In honor of Mary Lou Williams, the Kennedy Center once again presents this exciting two-part pianist competition, in which five finalists get to display their talents in front of Millennium Stage audiences and a jury of renowned international musicians. The winner will be announced later the same evening during the festival's 7 p.m. performance in the Terrace Theater. The winner will enjoy the opportunity to perform as part of the 12th annual festival in 2007.

SATURDAY, MAY 13 AT 12:30–2:30 P.M.
Jam Session  
 Led by bassist Miriam Sullivan, drummer Lucianna Padmore, and the winner of the Pianist Competition, musicians are invited to bring their instruments and join this exciting impromptu jam session!


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All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.

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