Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band

Screening followed by a discussion with director Carol Bash!

Music, besides being a source of entertainment, is also a container of social commentary, a reflection on a culture, and can be a healing force and a force behind social change.

From child prodigy to “Boogie-Woogie Queen” to groundbreaking composer to mentoring some of the greatest musicians of all time, Mary Lou Williams never ceased to astound those who heard her play. But away from the piano, Williams was a woman in a “man’s world,” a black person in a “whites only” society, an ambitious artist who dared to be different, and who struggled against the imperatives of being a “star.” Above all, she did not fit the (still) prevailing notions of where genius comes from or what it looks like. Time and again, she pushed back against a world that said, “You can’t” and said, “I can.” It nearly cost her everything.  by Carol Bash, USA, 2015, 60min, documentary in English.

As part of ADIFF’s Music and Society Film Series, join us April 28 to 30, 2017 and enjoy a weekend of riveting films that explore the connection of music to society!  It takes place at Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W 120th Street, 263 Macy, New York, NY 10027.

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