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MARY LOU WILLIAMS: THE LADY WHO SWINGS THE BAND
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Documentary  TV-PG

Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981), an innovative and prolific jazz pianist, composer and arranger, created some of the most sophisticated big-band hits for Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and other popular orchestras of the 1930s. From child prodigy and "Boogie-Woogie Queen" to groundbreaking composer and musical mentor to some of jazz's greatest musicians, Williams seemed to redefine herself with every passing decade. Away from the piano, she defied expectations — as a woman in a "man's world," as a black person in a whites-only society, and as a non-conforming creative genius in an image-driven industry. MARY LOU WILLIAMS: THE LADY WHO SWINGS THE BAND examines Williams' life and career, and her enduring legacy. In telling her story, the film follows the trajectory of jazz through the lens of a pioneering African-American female instrumentalist. The documentary unfolds through Williams' words — voiced by Oscar and Emmy nominee Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave, State of Affairs)— taken from unpublished manuscripts, oral histories and media interviews. Tony- and Screen Actors Guild-nominated actor Delroy Lindo (Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Get Shorty) voices Mary Lou Williams' husband John, while Independent Spirit Award-winning actor Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Waiting to Exhale)portrays bandleader Andy Kirk. Interviews with scholars, friends and fellow musicians — including Geri Allen, Carmen Lundy, Hank Jones, Billy Taylor, Wycliffe Gordon, Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding and Sumi Tonooka — place Williams' personal story within a larger context.

DISTRIBUTOR: American Public Television
APT PROGRAM SERVICE: Exchange
PRODUCER: The Mary Lou Williams Project, LLC
PRESENTER: ITVS

RIGHTS:
Contract period: 04/01/2015-03/31/2019School Rerecord
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