The Kennedy Center


Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival

Friday, May 10, 2019 - Saturday, May 11, 2019


Two nights of sensational music hosted by NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater! Now in its 24th year, our annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival celebrates the legendary pianist and composer whose talent inspired many of the early bebop giants including Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. Join us May 10 for Feed the Fire, a night dedicated Geri Allen featuring Terri Lyne Carrington, NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland, Maurice Chestnut, and Jason Moran. Saturday's program features the NEA Jazz Master Joanne Brackeen Quartet and the Renee Rosnes Quartet. See the full lineup below!

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Hosted by NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater
Tickets may be purchased for one or both nights.

For 24 years, the Kennedy Center has celebrated the influence of pianist, composer, educator, and humanitarian Mary Lou Williams (1910–1981) with a festival featuring phenomenal guest musicians. A trailblazer who taught herself to play piano as a child, Williams wrote hundreds of compositions and collaborated with jazz greats including Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Duke Ellington.

Fri., May 10, 2019:
Feed the Fire: Geri Allen Tribute
Curated by Terri Lyne Carrington
The first night of the festival is dedicated to prolific pianist and composer Geri Allen, whose recent death at the age of 60 shocked and saddened the jazz world. In a moving program curated and directed by Terri Lyne Carrington, a Grammy®-winning drummer and close friend of Geri, the Kennedy Center commemorates the life and legacy of the remarkable artist whose musical innovation and push for gender equality in music changed the language of jazz forever.

Terri Lyne Carrington, Artistic Director, drums
NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland, bass
Jason Moran, piano
Ravi Coltrane, saxophone
Maurice Chestnut, tap dance
Val-Inc (Val Jeanty), DJ

Sat., May 11, 2019:

Joanne Brackeen Quartet
NEA Jazz Master Joanne Brackeen, piano
Ugonna Okegwo, bass
Rudy Royston, drums
Greg Osby, saxophone

Renee Rosnes Quartet
Renee Rosnes
, piano
Steve Wilson, saxophone
John Patitucci, bass
Lenny White, drums

PLEASE NOTE: Joanne Brackeen will sign CDs following the Sat., May 11 performance, in the States Gallery outside of the Terrace Theater.