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Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival

The Kennedy Center
Terrace Theater, 2700 F Street NW

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(May) The Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival was founded in 1996 by the late Dr. Billy Taylor, to showcase the incredibly talented and underrepresented women of jazz, and was named in honor of the late, great jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams. Over three nights in May, The Kennedy Center hosts stunning concerts by some of the biggest names in jazz. The likes of Janis Siegel, Lauren Kinhan, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Dee Dee Bridgewater and many others have graced the stage at this important event.

Aside from the excellent performances, The Kennedy Center also hosts the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artist Workshop in conjunction with the festival, which serves to mentor and showcase young female musicians in a world class setting and brings them together with some of the trailblazing women in jazz. There is a wide range of ticket prices depending on the evening and the performers, but even the high-end tickets are a steal for the level of talent this festival draws to this world-famous concert setting.

    Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (Orange and Blue Metro lines get you close to the Kennedy Center and a free shuttle is available if you want to skip the walk. The Kennedy Center is also accessible by the 80 bus)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances: 5-10 performances over three nights
  • Ticket Prices: $38–$95
  • Discounts: A number of discounts available through the Kennedy Center including discounts for students and young professionals, persons with disabilities, seniors, military personnel, and persons with fixed low incomes.