Vancouver Jazz

The complete guide to jazz in Vancouver BC

Mary Lou Williams children’s concert 1977

Posted on | May 13, 2011 | No Comments

by Brian Nation

The Vancouver Jazz Society presented the truly legendary pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams in concert (with bassist Wyatt Ruther) for four nights in May 1977. On Saturday afternoon (May 14) we presented a special children’s concert as part of our educational programme aimed at introducing younger listeners to jazz music. Mary Lou demonstrated some different jazz styles, played a few numbers, and talked to the kids. Her manager, Peter O’Brien, was on hand to host the event.

We had a cassette recorder backstage used for playing music during intermissions and at the last minute I threw a blank tape into the machine and recorded most of the afternoon’s proceedings. A few days ago I heard from film producer Carol Bash who’s making a documentary about Mary Lou Williams for PBS. This prompted me to dig out the tape to send to her. The audio isn’t great but it’s easily listenable and contains some truly wonderful music. It’s presented here for the first time anywhere.

Play (right-click to download):
Mary Lou Williams Childrens Concert May 1977

Mary Lou Williams Wikipedia entry
Carol Bash’s Mary Lou Williams documentary project

Photo of Mary Lou Williams and Wyatt Ruther at CKVU-TV studio, Vancouver May 1977 by Brian Nation.


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