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Rose Theater

Family Concert: Who is Mary Lou Williams?

Our Jazz for Young People series continues with an hour-long, interactive celebration of composer, arranger, and pianist Mary Lou Williams (1910–1981). Families will learn the inspiring tale of a young woman who realized her dreams through determination, imagination, incredible talent, and a famously big heart.

Her music was truly as adventurous as her personality, and you will be fascinated to discover her influence on several generations of creative jazz musicians. In this fun concert experience, you will come to understand what made Williams' piano playing so special and entertaining. A professional player by age seven, Williams charged headfirst into the music world, outplayed her male contemporaries, and quickly emerged as a composer and arranger they simply needed to hire. By her early 20s, she was arranging music for Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Benny Goodman.

Hosting this event is Grammy Award-nominee Catherine Russell, who joined us last season to host Who is Louis Armstrong? She’ll be joined by energetic drummer LaFrae Sci and an all-female band.

Band Members:

Drums & Music Director: LaFrae Sci

Piano: Chihiro Yamanaka

Bass: Endea Owens

Guitar: Cynthia Sayer

Trumpet: Liesl Whitaker, Linda Briceño, Rachel Therrien, Jackie Coleman

Trombone: Sara Jacovino, Raynel Frazier, Becca Patterson

Alto Saxophone: Alexa Tarantino, Yunie Mojica

Tenor Saxophone: Roxy Coss, Mercedes Beckman

Baritone Saxophone: Claire Daly

The Jazz for Young People Family Concert series is funded through the generosity of Mica and Ahmet Ertegun.

Join our family! Subscribe today by purchasing three or more concerts to our 2017–18 season and receive priority seating, free ticket exchanges and discounts. Or become a member to receive benefits, invitations, and more throughout the season, starting at $75. 

Visitor Info

Box Office

Broadway and 60th Street

Ground Floor



Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm

Sun, 12pm-6pm




90 Minutes without Intermission