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Women in Jazz Festival Features Lundy, Carrington

  • Doug Levine

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy and Terri Lyn Carrington are headlining this year’s Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The event runs from May 10 -12 this year.

Lundy was introduced to the piano at age six, sang in her church choir, and studied opera at the University of Miami before embarking on a career as a jazz vocalist. She is also an accomplished composer, arranger and producer, who once earned praise for being “an uncompromising jazz singer whose every note is bulls-eye accurate.” Lundy is scheduled to perform on May 10, the opening night of the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

Founded by the late Dr. Billy Taylor in 1996, the festival is a showcase for new and established female jazz artists from around the world. It was inspired by the life and music of Mary Lou Williams, a prolific composer and arranger of jazz, swing, big band, blues and gospel.

Festival openers also include Japanese pianist Chihiro Yamanaka, pianist Hilario Duran from Cuba, and saxophonist Jane Bunnett featuring 90-year-old Cuban-born percussionist Candido Camero.

The Women in Jazz Festival is truly an international affair. On tap for May 11 is Australian bassist Linda Oh and New York City percussionist Allison Miller, who often tours the globe as a Kennedy Center-U.S. Department of State Jazz Ambassador. Vocalist Carla Cook is also scheduled to perform that night.

Closing night on May 12 brings violinist Diane Monroe as well as Grammy Award-winning percussionist and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington, with Ingrid Jensen on trumpet, Tia Fuller on saxophone, Helen Sung on piano and Mimi Jones on bass. Hosting the festival will be renowned jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater.