Geri Allen to Pay Tribute to Mary Lou Williams
Three-day event coming to Harlem this month
Geri Allen will pay tribute to another influential pianist and composer, Mary Lou Williams, through song and dialogue in a special event at Harlem Stage March 13-15. The performance, which is directed by Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, culminates a 10-day celebration of Williams at Harlem Stage.
Commissioned by Harlem Stage, this three-night jazz event, according to a press release, “recreates an intimate visit with Williams, set in a recreation of her Harlem sitting room, and using her words and music to bring audiences through the annals of jazz as she both experienced and created it.” Allen will perform works by Williams, as well as her own compositions; she will be joined by vocalist Carmen Lundy, speaking Williams’ words and singing from her extensive catalogue. In addition to Allen, musicians include Kenny Davis on bass and Kassa Overall on drums. A Conversation with Mary Lou features a script by Farah Jasmine Griffin, the author and Columbia University professor whose 2013 book Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II includes a section dedicated to Williams.
Performances are 90 minutes, with no intermission. Tickets are $45 from Harlem Stage or by phone at 212-281-9240 x19.
A Conversation with Mary Lou: Geri Allen Celebrates Mary Lou Williams features a post-performance opening night reception on Thursday, March 13, and a post-performance discussion on Friday, March 14. Events are open to ticket holders for each performance.