2003 Women in Jazz
May 3-10, 2003
Free Millennium Stage Performances May 3-10, 2003
Concerts in the Terrace Theater
Special Offer
Save on all three concerts with the $72 "Special Trio Package" and receive a free CD (Highlights From The Kennedy Center Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival, Volume 1). Ask for your "all three discount." Offer available at the Kennedy Center Box Office or charge by phone 202-467-4600. Offer not available online.
Thursday May 8, 2003 at 7 p.m.
Mary Ann McSweeney Mary Ann McSweeney
California-born bassist Mary Ann McSweeney has performed with such artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy Cleveland, and Herb Alpert; played in Big Bands such as Bill Holman, Maiden Voyage, and DIVA; and leads her own quintet. A veteran of the 2000 Women in Jazz Festival, "McSweeney plays with crisp accuracy and the trace of a lyrical touch. Her strength is within the rhythm section, which she steers with strength and assurance" (The Los Angeles Times).
Melissa Walker   Melissa Walker
"Imagine a voice with the husky resonance and power-in-reserve of a young Sarah Vaughan, the fearless flexibility of Betty Carter and the wily charm of Carmen McRae, add a generous dash of individuality and you have Melissa Walker" (Evening Standard, London). This talented Canadian vocalist has performed with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and has also been a guest with other noted big bands.
Toshiko Akiyoshi   Toshiko Akiyoshi
The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra—honored by Down Beat as jazz's "Best Big Band"—is led by the pianist/composer who is perhaps Japan's most recognized expatriate jazz player. A 14-time Grammy Award® nominee, Akiyoshi has called the United States home since 1956, yet she still continues to draw on Japanese musical traditions, coloring her work with a hypnotic Eastern atmosphere and swirling textures-all in an effort, she says, "to portray my heritage within jazz, to utilize my Japanese roots as a positive source."
Friday May 9, 2003 at 7 p.m.
Renee Rosnes   Renee Rosnes
Eclectic modern jazz pianist Renee Rosnes "can spin improvisations of such logical and varied designs that you swear you can see them assuming tangible shape" (Down Beat). Born in Canada, Rosnes is one of the busiest musicians in jazz, performing with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Branford Marsalis, and Wayne Shorter.
Gloria Lynne   Gloria Lynne
Growing up in Harlem, vocalist Gloria Lynne idolized Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, and Ella Fitzgerald. She, in turn, has inspired a whole new generation of female jazz musicians. She has performed with such jazz giants as Billy Taylor and Billy Eckstine, and one of her hits, "Speaking of Happiness," can be heard in numerous movies.
Gloria Coleman   Gloria Coleman and Her Trio
Gloria Coleman’s compositions have been recorded by Joe “Lee” Wilson, Irene Reid, and Ernestine Anderson, and she has worked with Willis Jackson, Etta Jones, and the late Sonny Stitt.

Saturday May 10, 2003 at 7 p.m.
Karolina Strassmayer   Karolina Strassmayer
A graduate of Europe's most prestigious jazz school, the Graz Academy of Music in her native Austria, saxophonist Karolina Strassmayer has performed with Ascensión, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, DIVA, and her quartet, Klaro. "She plays the alto with a fierce attack. Freud would have loved her," raved Jazz Now.
Lizz Wright   Lizz Wright
Young Atlanta vocalist Lizz Wright is taking the jazz world by storm. With a gospel-infused style that evokes thoughts of such artists as Sarah Vaughan and Oleta Adams, Wright "sings with an articulate maturity that surpasses her youth" (The Los Angeles Times).
Terri Lynn Carrington   Terri Lyne Carrington
Born into a jazz family—her grandfather played with Fats Waller—Terri Lyne Carrington is a world-renowned drummer, composer, and producer. As a child, she jammed with such veterans as Dizzy Gillespie, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Oscar Peterson, and Joe Williams. A regular member of the Herbie Hancock Quartet, Carrington is "one of today's leading drummers" (JazzReview.com).
Barbara Carroll   Barbara Carroll — 2003 Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival Award Recipient
Regarded as one of the most fascinating purveyors of swinging jazz piano and expressive vocals, Barbara Carroll's keyboard skills allowed her to jam with the likes of Charlie Parker and accompany Billie Holiday, and her vocal style balances sensitivity with invention. At Friday's performance, this queen of jazz will receive this year's Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Award, in honor of her lifetime of service to jazz.
Additional Women in Jazz Festival Resources
About Mary Lou Williams
First Lady of Jazz

Now Available on CD
Highlights From The Kennedy Center Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival, Volume 1 (featuring performances from previous festivals)

Available at the Online Gift Shop

Listen to a Sample!

Internet Broadcasts
Online Lectures and Seminars
Resources for Artists
Internet Resources

back to top

Presenting Sponsor