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Last year, Mary Lou Williams would have celebrated her 100th birthday. Join us for a Saturday panel in which her powerful legacy as a pianist, arranger, band leader and teacher of the men who pioneered bebop is discussed, rare film footage seen, and scintillating music featuring Mary Lou heard.
Rare film footage will be screened by Carol Bash, director of the upcoming documentary feature on Williams, The Lady Who Swings the Band.
Mary Lou Williams was the most pioneering female jazz artist of the first 30+ years of the existence of jazz. Like Duke Ellington, her talent as a pianist and composer towered above genre, as she adapted herself to all of the styling variations that developed throughout the history of jazz. In fact, Ellington himself had this to say about Mary Lou Williams:
"Mary Lou Williams is perpetually contemporary. Her writing and performing have always been a little ahead throughout her career. Her music retains, and maintains, a standard of quality that is timeless. She is like soul on soul."
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