Jazz is a male dominate culture. It is rare that you see an all-female brass band or women performing in a big band. Even in 2011, there are a handful of all-female groups on the jazz scene and fewer in management positions behind the scene, so anytime there is an opportunity to honor a woman involved in jazz music, jazz history and jazz culture, it is a moment to be celebrated.
For the 16th year, The Kennedy Center will again recognize jazz matriarchs by hosting The Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival. Artists scheduled to perform include: Terri Lyne Carrington, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Janis Siegel (Manhattan Transfer), Laurel Masse, Jamie Baum, Marlena Shaw, Sherrie Maricle, Janelle Reichman, Jami Dauber, Peggy Stern, Noriko Ueda, Tomoko Ohno, and the Tia Fuller Quartet.
Throughout her musical career Mary Lou Williams, a self-taught pianist, recorded over 100 tunes and composed music for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Williams formed her own record label and publishing companies, in addition to founding the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival.
The festival will take place May 19 - 21, 2011 at the Terrace Theater.Tickets range from $38 to $95. For additional information contact the Kennedy Center.