Born: January 22 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Wikipedia Biography Lori A. Williams (born January 22, 1967) is an American Jazz Vocalist from Washington, DC. She is the mother of two children (Lauren V. Highsmith and Yusef K. Chisholm). Lori has recorded two CDs (Healing Within - 2010 and Eclipse of the Soul - 2012). Biographical sketch: Lori Williams continues to reside in the Washington Metropolitan area and teaches vocal music in the DC Public Schools System. She also teaches private vocal instruction, performs and records for various recording sessions as a solo artist and for other recording artists. Education: Lori Williams attended Hampton University (HU) and received a BA in Mass Media Communications in 1988. She is a member of Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society and Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society. At Hampton University, Lori pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated (Gamma Iota Chapter) in 1986. After graduating from HU, Lori attended Trinity College and The University of the District of Columbia focusing on Music Education. Lori has received numerous awards recognizing her skills as a performer and educator. Her most notable recognition is a letter from Vice President Joseph Biden acknowledging her stellar performance at the 2013 Frederick Douglass Statue Dedication Ceremony at the US Capital. She has also received a Senate Citation from The Maryland General Assembly on behalf of Maryland State Senator Anthony Muse for her contributions and commitment to the arts as a jazz vocalist, instructor and educator. Also she received the 2007 Superintendent's Arts Teacher of the Year and the 2010 Vincent E. Reed Teacher of the Year. Career: As a high school student, Lori began her search for her musical style. It was at Hampton University where she discovered her passion for vocal jazz under the direction of Professors Dr. Effie Gardner and Robert Ransom. Lori was the Jazz Program Director for her college radio station, WHOV-FM and often performed in the Tidewater area for events. Lori also entered the Budweiser Showdown (winning 2nd place) and appeared on 'Showtime At The Apollo' during her tenure at HU. Lori Williams lived in Japan in the early 90's. It was there where she had the opportunity to record background vocals for commercial and artist sessions. She also directed the Sagamihara Gospel Choir and performed with Eli Saitoh and The Love Tambourines. Upon returning stateside, Lori has had the honor of performing with many national artists (studio session and live performance). She has recorded with The Blackbyrds, Sherry Winston, Maysa, Lloyd Price, Allyn Johnson and Divine Order, Saltman Knowles, and others. She also has performed in musical theatre productions in the Washington, DC area and Atlanta, GA. In 2010, Lori Williams released her debut CD - Healing Within. And in 2012, she released her sophomore project - Eclipse of the Soul. Lori continues to perform as a solo artist, recording session artist, and background vocalist for many international musicians (working with artists like Phil Perry, Terri Lynne Carrington, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Oleta Adams, Yolanda Adams and Vesta Williams). She also travels to Europe as a clinician and performs in jazz festivals in the US and abroad. JazzTimes calls her a dynamic presence throughout, offering exquisite wordless vocals.
Lori's website biographical sketch:
Lori Williams is the lead vocalist of the Washington-based jazz ensemble - Lori Williams & Friends - and featured vocalist on The Saltman Knowles Group, The Blackbyrds, Allyn Johnson and Divine Order, Sherry Winston and Collaboration CDs. She graduated from Hampton University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree. Lori is the proud mother of two talented and gifted children, Lauren Vanessa and Yusef Khalil. Lori was the former Director of Programs for the Best Friends Foundation. She has taught Music in Washington, DC Public Schools since 1995. Currently, Lori is the Director of Vocal Music and former Music Department Chairperson at Wilson Senior High School. She has an extensive background in the performing arts. She has directed several choirs including the National Diamond Girls Jazz Choir (performing for the Inauguration Ceremony for President George Bush); the Sagamihara Christian Fellowship Gospel Choir in Sagamihara, Japan; the Fort Foote Baptist Church Gospel Choir in Fort Washington, Maryland; Carmody Hills Baptist Church Children's Choir in Capitol Heights, Maryland; and the Bethlehem Baptist Church Gospel Choir in Washington, DC.
Lori has performed with many nationally-known recording artists such as Oleta Adams, Yolanda Adams, David Archuleta, Regina Belle, Eric Benet, Keter Betts, The Blackbyrds, Norman Brown, Tom Browne, Peabo Bryson, Jerry Butler, T.C. Carson, Gene Chandler, Stanley Clarke, Will Downing, George Duke, David Dyson, James Genus, Savion Glover, Slide Hampton, Walter Hawkins, Nathan Heathman, William Hubbard, Al Johnson (The Unifics), Allyn Johnson and Divine Order, Kindred The Family Soul, Ben E. King, Debbie Kirkland, Ledisi, Marion Meadows, Maysa, Julia Nixon, Phil Perry, Lloyd Price, Ellie Saitoh and The Love Tambourines, Saltman Knowles Group, Sylver Logan Sharp (Chic), The Sherelles, Gary Taylor, Tony Terry, Bobby Vee and The Vees, Andre Ward, Kim Waters, Allyson Williams, Vanessa R. Williams, Vesta Williams, and Sherry Winston. She also has done extensive studio recording and commercial work in the Metropolitan area and Japan.
Lori Williams performed in Arts United of Washington's live jazz theatrical and dance presentations of Meet Me at the Cafe and The Scenic Route at the Joy of Motion Dance Center – Jack Guidone Theatre in Washington, DC. She also showcased her singing, acting and dancing ability in director Thomas Jones' production of The All Night Strut, Cool Papa’s Party (choreographed by Maurice Hines), and Ladies Swing The Blues: A Jazz Fable at MetroStage Theatre in Alexandria, Virginia. She co-starred in Isn’t It Romantic (written and directed by David Hunter Koch) with Jimi Ray Malary at MetroStage as well. Additionally, Lori played the role of Mary in Bending Towards the Light – A Jazz Nativity at Patriot's Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey. The production was written and conducted by Anne Phillips and produced by Bob Kindred.
Lori was recognized as an outstanding Music Teacher in the October 2000 issue of Teaching Music magazine. She was selected to have her biography appear in the 2005 Premier Edition of Great Women of the 21st Century for her professional dedication and commitment to communities. She was also recognized as a 2005-2006 National Honor Roll's Outstanding American Teacher. She was the recipient of the 2007 Superintendent's Arts Teacher of the Year Award. Lori was also honored at the Mayor's Arts Awards, held at the John F. Kennedy Center. This award was given on behalf of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Public Schools, and the DC Arts. Additionally, Lori was the 2010 Vincent E. Reed Teacher of the Year. Her affiliations include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Prince Georges County Alumnae Chapter, Maryland), BMI (songwriter/composer), WAMADC, The International Association for Jazz Education (former President-Elect – Washington, D.C. Unit), The National Association for Female Executives, Kappa Tau Alpha and DC – Music Educators Association.
Lori Williams released her debut CD ~ Healing Within ~ in 2010. This project is dedicated to the memory of her Mother - Myrtle W. Williams. She released her sophomore CD ~ Eclipse of the Soul ~ in the fall of 2012.
Awards:ori was recognized as an outstanding Music Teacher in the October 2000 issue of Teaching Music magazine. She was selected to have her biography appear in the 2005 Premier Edition of Great Women of the 21st Century for her professional dedication and commitment to communities. She was also recognized as a 2005-2006 National Honor Roll's Outstanding American Teacher. She was the recipient of the 2007 Superintendent's Arts Teacher of the Year Award. Lori was also honored at the Mayor's Arts Awards, held at the John F. Kennedy Center. This award was given on behalf of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Public Schools, and the DC Arts. Additionally, Lori was the 2010 Vincent E. Reed Teacher of the Year. Her affiliations include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Prince Georges County Alumnae Chapter, Maryland), BMI (songwriter/composer), WAMADC, The International Association for Jazz Education (former President-Elect – Washington, D.C. Unit), The National Association for Female Executives, Kappa Tau Alpha and DC – Music Educators Association.
Her voice is the kind of jazz singing I enjoy listening to, and the silkiness makes me want to hear that all day and night. John Book, The Run Off Groove
The evening's standout, vocalist Lori Williams, crooned most of the jazz standards with a smoke-and-honey voice. Lisa Traiger - The Washington Post
Singer Lori Williams is back with her warm and rich voice, and she's as earthy as red clay, be it with lyrics, or without. George Harris, JazzWeekly.com
...vocalist Lori Williams, whose vocals shine... rolls into a scat that's among the best I've ever heard... will bring a tear of joy (or more) to your eye, for sure. Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation
Lori Williams, as always, her joy in singing is unshakable. Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
Saltman Knowles provides generous helpings of live instrumentation which complement the smooth, heartfelt vocals of Lori Williams. Shelton Ivany, National News Bureau
Lori Anne Williams has the sought-after combination of soul and technical prowess that reminds me of Ella Fitzgerald - a treat to any jazz fans' ears. Nathaniel Rolnick, Muzikreviews.com
Singer Lori Anne Wiliams, a dynamic presence throughout, offering exquisite wordless vocals . . . Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes
Lori Anne Williams adds the final stamp, showing her control and finesse with her weaving scat between the melodic lines. Jerry D'Souza, All About Jazz
. . . the talented and vocally acrobatic Lori Anne Williams. Her vocal scatting soars . . . Her tone and control are superb, and her inventiveness is inspired. Ralph A. Mirello, Jazz.com
Willing to teach: