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Jessica Williams

Primary Instrument: Piano

Born: March 17, 1948    

Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams is a well-known and highly respected pianist and composer who has deep roots in the Jazz Tradition. The two-time Grammy Nominee was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and classically trained at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. In her teens, Jessica moved to Philadelphia and began playing with the great Philly Joe Jones, drummer for the Miles Davis Quintet. Later, she moved to California, where she played in the bands of Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon, Tony Williams, Stan Getz, Big Nick Nicholaus, Airto and Flora, Charlie Rouse, John Abercrombie, Charlie Haden, Leroy Vinnegar, and others. She has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; a Rockerfeller Grant for composing; the Alice B. Toklas Grant for Women Composers, and the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Jessica has been an honored guest on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz....
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Awards

John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship Grammy Nominee 1986, Best Instrumental Jazz Album National Endowment for the Arts ('88, '92) Alice B Toklas Fellowship Money for Women 1993 Rockerfeller Grant 1990 Record of the Year 1994, 1995, Jazz Journal International Presented a plaque of civic appreciation from Mayor Anne Rudin (CA) Meet the Composer Grant 1991 Keys to the City of Sacramento 1989 Sacramento Arts Commission, four grants, 1984-88 Keys to the City of San Mateo 1997 Artist of the Year Award Santa Cruz County 2002 One of the TOP 5 CDs of 2000 (JazzTimes Critics Poll; In the Key of Monk) One of the TOP 5 CDs of 1999 (JazzTimes Critics Poll; Joyful Sorrow) 15 Special Awards Panel Grants from ASCAP for composition Grammy Nominee 2004, Best Instrumental Jazz Album 2005 Best Jazz Album of the Year (Live at Yoshi's, Vol 2), All About Jazz Opened the Mary Lou WIlliams Women In Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in May, 2006, 2005
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    With Love

    Origin Records
    2014
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    Songs of Earth

    Origin Records
    2012
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    Freedom Trane

    Origin Records
    2012
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    Jessica Williams: Freedom Trane

    Origin Records
    2011
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    Jessica Williams: Touch

    Origin Records
    2010
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    The Art of the Piano

    Origin Records
    2010
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    Art of the Piano

    Origin Records
    2009
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Featured recording “With Love”

Latest Release

With Love

Origin Records (2014)

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”One of the greatest jazz pianists I have ever heard.” -Dave Brubeck

”Jessica is a beautiful player.” -McCoy Tyner

”The most important pianist to arrive since Bill Evans.” -Alun Morgan, Gramophone

”I”m running out of superlatives to describe her playing!” -Humphrey Littleton, BBC

”A vibrant force on the contemporary music scene.” -Rolling Stone

”She should be heard by everyone who cares about jazz.” -William Stephenson, Jazziz Magazine

”Jessica Williams may be the great living lyric poet of the piano. She is utterly magnificent.” -Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News

”I will say on record that I think she is the finest pianist of our time...

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