Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival Hits D.C. May 10-12

Mary Lou Williams
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Terri Lyne Carrington

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Tony and Grammy Award-winning vocalist and actress Dee Dee Bridgewater will host the 17th annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival, to take place May 10-12 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The performances will take place in the Terrace Theater and on the admission-free Millenium Stage.

The three-day festivities, named after one of the first ladies of jazz, will kick off with Japanese jazz and classical piano dynamo Chihiro Yamanaka playing with her trio. Following Yamanaka will be Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett and Cuban pianist Hilario Durán with a special guest, legendary Cuban percussionist Candido. Headlining the evening is a quartet led by singer Carmen Lundy.

On the following jam-packed Friday, the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artist Showcase will feature Amy K. Bormet’s Striking Quartet. As a 2010 alumnus of the Kenney Center’s Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead residency program, Bormet is no stranger to the Kennedy Center. Neither is the Australian composer and bassist Linda Oh, whose quartet will perform following the showcase. Drummer Allison Miller’s BOOM TIC BOOM project and Grammy nominee Carla Cook will close the night.

The festival will finish strong on the 12th with a screening of the film In Good Time, The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland, followed by a discussion with filmmaker Huey and a second spotlight in the showcase featuring the Christie Dashiell Quartet, whose leader recently appeared on season three of NBC’s The Sing-Off as a member of Afro Blue. Finally, violinist Diane Monroe will open for the Grammy-winning percussionist and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington, who will lead her Mosaic Project featuring Ingrid Jensen on trumpet, Tia Fuller on saxophone, Helen Sung on piano, Mimi Jones on bass and some special surprise vocal performances.

Tickets to Terrace Theater shows are on sale for $38. Purchases can be made in-person at the box office or by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324. For a full schedule, more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Kennedy Center’s official site.