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Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981):

 An Enduring Legacy

New to Mary Lou or already a devotee? Use these resources to enrich your understanding of her life's work.

Recommended Scholars 

Tammy Kernodle, PhD, University of Miami Ohio:

Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of

     Mary Lou Williams. Northeastern

     Press, 2004. (Link)

“'Anything You Are Shows Up In Your

     Music': Mary Lou Williams and the

     Sanctification ofJazz.” Ph.D.

     dissertation, Ohio State University,

     1997 (Link)

Gayle Murchison, PhD, College of William and Mary:

"Mary Lou Williams's Girl Stars and the

     Politics of Negotiation: Jazz, Gender,

     and Jim Crow." In Womens Bands in

     America: Performing

     Music and Gender, ed. Jill Sullivan.

     Rowan and Littlefield, 2017. 


"Mary Lou Williams’s Hymn Black Christ

     of the Andes (St. Martin de Porres):

     Vatican II, Civil Rights, and Jazz as

     Sacred Music," The Musical

     Quarterly, Vol.86 No. 4 ( December

     2002), 591–629


Linda Dahl.  Morning Glory: A      

     Biography of Mary Lou Williams.  

     University of California Press, 2001

Jason Bivins.  Spirits Rejoice! Jazz and American Religion. Oxford University Press, 2015

Angelo Versace. "The Evolution of

     Sacred Jazz as Reflected in the Music

     of Mary Lou Williams, Duke

     Ellington, John Coltrane and

     Recognized Contemporary Sacred

     Jazz Artists," DMA Dissertation,

     University of Miami, 2013



Music for Peace  recording liner notes by Dr. Tammy KernodleSmithsonian Folkways (Link)


Geri Allen discography of Mary Lou Williams (Link)

Gerri Allen Website (Link)

Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, Duke University (Link)


Rutgers University Resources on Mary Lou Williams (Link)

Deanna Witkowski on the Sacred Jazz of Mary Lou Williams (Link)

Musica Sacra Forum on the liturgical references of Music for Peace as a votive Mass  (Link)


Mary Lou Williams:  Jazz for the Soul, Father Peter O'Brien, S.J., Smithsonian Folkways Magazine, Fall 2010  (Link)

"Mary Lou Williams, a Jazz Great (obituary), John Wilson, New York Times, May 30, 1981 (Link)

"Mary Lou Williams: The First Lady of Jazz"The Root , 10.6.10 (Link)

"A Hidden Hero of Jazz (documentary film review), Richard Brody, New Yorker, September 21, 2015 (Link)

Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival (Link)

The Chronological Classics Internet Archive  (Link)

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