Date: 12/05/2013

Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: Brooklyn Brainery (190 Underhill Ave., Brooklyn)

Price: $10 in advance

She wrote, arranged, and performed for over five decades. She was mentor and inspiration to a legion of famous jazz pianists, including Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. Duke Ellington described her music as "perpetually contemporary... like soul on soul" and yet Mary Lou Williams never achieved the level of fame, success, and opportunity that her male peers garnered, and often had to fight very public and legal battles to get the credit and remuneration she deserved for her compositions and arrangements. In later life, she became intensely religious, writing and performing the first Catholic jazz mass and helping drug-addicted jazz musicians get their lives back together. An inspirational figure for many and one of the few female jazz instrumentalists to carve out a singularly long and identifiable career. This class will serve as a brief introduction into the life and music of Mary Lou Williams. Students will be given a brief overview of the foundations of jazz history and its role in 20th-Century American life and culture, with a particular focus on the secret history of women in jazz. We will listen deeply to the music of Mary Lou Williams but no previous experience or knowledge of jazz or music theory is required! All students will receive an MP3 playlist of everything we listen to in class, plus a guide for further recommended listening and reading.

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