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25th Annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival Announces Two Free Performances

The two nights (May 6–7, 2022) of phenomenal musicians in the Terrace Theater will feature drummer Allison Miller and bassist Derrick Hodge.

25th Annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival Announces Two Free Performances

The Kennedy Center has announced two free performances at Millennium Stage, featuring Next Jazz Legacy, as part of the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival.

Next Jazz Legacy is a new national apprenticeship program for women and non-binary improvisers in jazz. Next Jazz Legacy is a partnership between New Music USA and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice with support from the Mellon Foundation.

The Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival continues its mission to mark the influence of pianist, composer, educator, and humanitarian Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981). As previously announced, the two nights (May 6-7, 2022) of phenomenal musicians in the Terrace Theater will feature drummer Allison Miller and bassist Derrick Hodge in a tribute to Williams titled "Soul on Soul;" Grammy®-winning drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington with her new ensemble Social Science in a presentation that blends jazz, indie rock, and hip hop to explore issues of racial and gender justice; and Artemis, featuring pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes, clarinetist and soprano saxophonist Anat Cohen, tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, bassist Noriko Ueda, and drummer Allison Miller.

A full festival schedule follows:

Friday, May 6, 2022, 6:00 P.M., Next Jazz Legacy on the Millennium Stage


Kalia Vandever (Trombone)
Anastassiya Petrova (Piano/Organ)
Alexis Lombre (Piano)
Ivanna Cuesta (Drums)
Aaron Holthus (Bass)

Friday, May 6, 2022, 7:00 P.M. in the Terrace Theater


Drummer Allison Miller and bassist Derrick Hodge present Soul on Soul: A Tribute to Mary Lou Williams, which premiered at the Monterey Jazz Festival to critical acclaim.
The evening also spotlights NEA Jazz Master and three-time Grammy Award®-winning drummer, Terri Lyne Carrington, with her current project Social Science. Special guests will include violinist Chelsey Green, vocalist Mark Kibble (of Take 6), vocalist Malcolm Jamal Warner, and D.C. native musician/producer Kokayi.

Saturday, May 7, 2022, 6:00 P.M., Next Jazz Legacy on the Millennium Stage


Keyanna Hutchinson (Guitar)
Anastassiya Petrova (Piano/Organ)
Alexis Lombre (Piano)
Ivanna Cuesta (Drums)
Aaron Holthus (Bass)

Saturday, May 7, 2022, 7:00 P.M. in the Terrace Theater


All-star ensemble Artemis takes the stage with six of the top performers on the jazz scene today-pianist and musical director Renee Rosnes, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, clarinetist Anat Cohen, tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover, bassist Noriko Ueda, and drummer Allison Miller. Named after the Olympian goddess of the hunt and wilderness, this sextet is an international affair, with members hailing from the U.S., Canada, Israel, and Japan.

Saturday, May 7, 2022, 8:30 P.M. "From One Generation to the Next" Panel in the Terrace Theater


A conversation about the influence of trailblazing women in jazz and their contribution to a more inclusive jazz future with drummer, composer, and teacher Alison Miller and Next Jazz Legacy awardee, Alexis Lombre. Moderated by Aja Burrell Wood, Managing Director of Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and Board member of New Music USA.
Presented in collaboration with New Music USA.

About the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival


This year celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Mary Lou Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center. Since the first concerts in 1996, the annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival-founded by the late Dr. Billy Taylor (1921-2010), Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz (1994-2010)-highlights the talents of women jazz artists across the world through curated performances on the Kennedy Center stage. This annual celebration showcases the world's most respected and accomplished jazz artists, from the well-known to the young and up-and-coming, a tradition continued under the leadership of Jason Moran, appointed Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor for Jazz in 2011 and Artistic Director for Jazz in 2014.

For these musicians, Mary Lou Williams has served as their inspiration to leave their mark on every aspect of jazz, just as she did. Dubbed the "First Lady of Jazz Piano," she wrote music for Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington, performed with Ben Webster and Lester Young, and was a mentor to Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, and many others. As a pianist, composer, arranger, teacher, mentor, and humanitarian, Williams defied gender, race, and category with her inexhaustible gifts.

Mary Lou Williams once said, "If we are to make progress in modern music, we must be willing and able to open our minds to new ideas and developments." The Kennedy Center invites you to join us in paying homage to America's original art form, both past and present as we keep the spirit of Mary Lou Williams alive!

About Jazz at the Kennedy Center


Kennedy Center Jazz, under the leadership of Artistic Director Jason Moran, presents legendary artists who have helped shape the art form, artists who are emerging on the jazz scene, and innovative multidisciplinary projects throughout the year. Annual Kennedy Center jazz events include the professional development residency program for young artists, Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead; NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas, the Kennedy Center holiday tradition shared by millions around the country via broadcast on NPR; and the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, created in 1996 by the late Dr. Billy Taylor (Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz, 1994-2010).

Ticket Information


Tickets are available for purchase on the Kennedy Center website. For more information, please visit the Kennedy Center website, in-person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, or call (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.



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