“Mary Lou Williams is perpetually contemporary.
Her music retains a standard of quality that is timeless.
She is like Soul on Soul.”        -Duke Ellington


University of Wisconsin Jazz Orchestra dedicates Fall semester to Mary Lou Williams, sharing their interest and expertise with area middle and high school music students through a series of clinics and joint concerts.

Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981) was a highly influential jazz pianist, composer, arranger, music educator and humanitarian who blazed a trail for other instrumentalists and composers in jazz. Williams was a legend within the inner circle of the jazz community and yet remains under-recognized among jazz fans and largely unknown to the rest of America. She is often referred to as the First Lady of Jazz and has been held in the highest regard by other legends in jazz. Learn more...

Madison was invited to stage a centennial celebration for Mary Lou Williams because of her 1976 visit to the UW-Madison and the community’s continuing interest in Ms. Williams’ music. Since February 2010, Madison’s Centennial Committee and its partners have been presenting a wide-ranging series of concerts and educational programs including performances of Ms. Williams’ music by local and touring musicians, workshops in our schools, a scholarly symposium, commissioned theatrical and modern dance works, and much more.



What a great celebration

What a great year 2010 was for celebrating Mary Lou Williams and her music and hearing some great jazz. Many

Monday, 11/22/10, 7:00 PM

Mary Lou Williams Youth Explosion

Featuring jazz ensembles from Stoughton and Madison West High Schools, a student jazz choir featuring members of the Madison Youth Choirs and the Mt. Zion Baptist Church Youth Choir, an all-star group of young spoken word poets, and a live DJ from UW-Madison’s First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble.
Overture Center Promenade Hall
201 State Street, Madison
Free admission

Wednesday, 12/1/10, 7:30 PM

Mary Lou Williams Centennial Tribute Concert

University of Wisconsin Jazz Orchestra
Jim Doherty, Conductor

Mills Concert Hall, UW-Madison Humanities Bldg.
455 North Park Street, Madison
Free admission

Saturday, 12/4/10, 8:00 PM

Mary Lou Williams Mini-Camp Joint Concert

University of Wisconsin Jazz Orchestra with the Madison East, Madison Memorial, and Madison West High School Jazz Ensembles, with special guests Laura Caviani (piano)
and Matt Hong (alto sax, clarinet)

Mills Concert Hall, UW-Madison Humanities Bldg.
455 North Park Street, Madison
Free admission