Lecture program - Winter 2021
All lectures will be online.
Sunday, January 24
Mary Lou Williams: From The Lady Who Swung the Band to The Zodiac Suite
Professor Derek Katz, Department of Music, UCSB
In the 1930s and 1940s, a time when instrumental jazz and dance music was almost exclusively the preserve of male musicians, Mary Lou Williams had a major career as a pianist, composer and arranger for Andy Kirk, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington. She also performed her own compositions in concert settings, including her 1945 Zodiac Suite. Her path from traveling variety shows to the ballrooms of Kansas City and the cafés of New York illuminates many aspects of the jazz business, from perceptions of masculinity in piano playing and race in dance music, to the distinctive flavors of Kansas City jazz and the role of record companies in shaping repertoire and reputations.