Women X is hosting a very special evening of music and conversation in celebration of “The First Lady of Jazz”, Mary Lou Williams on Friday May 15. The event starts at 3:00pm PDT/6:00pm EDT and is free to the public. RSVP at marylou@womenx.org.

The evening will open with a live, virtual performance by jazz pianist Camila Cortina, who is a student at the Berklee Jazz and Gender Justice Institute. 

After the film, Women X will wrap up the evening with a Q&A session with Dr. Tammy Kernodle, who is featured in the film. Kernodle has dedicated her life to telling the story of Mary Lou Williams.

A true hidden treasure…Mary Lou Williams (born Mary Elfrieda Scruggs; May 8, 1910 – May 28, 1981) was one of the most important Jazz musicians. Known as the ”first lady of the jazz keyboard” was an American jazz pianist, arranger, and composer. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements and recorded more than one hundred records (in 78, 45, and LP versions). Williams wrote and arranged for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and she was friend, mentor, and teacher to Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Dr Tammy L. Kernodle is a musician and scholar that teaches and researches in the areas of African American music and gender and music. She has worked closely with a number of educational programs including The American Jazz Museum, National Museum of African American History and Culture, NPR, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the BBC. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, and anthologies. Kernodle is the author of biography Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams, served as Associate Editor of the three-volume Encyclopedia of African American Music and the Editorial team for the revision of the Grove Dictionary of American Music. She is currently Professor of Musicology at Miami University in Oxford, OH and the President of the Society for American Music.

WomenX is dedicated to creating a supportive, nurturing learning community for women to pursue lifelong learning that focuses on the learner, providing multiple opportunities for students to learn in small women only setting where deep learning can occur.