Mary Lou Williams’ Jazz is for the Masses– Deanna interview in Sojourners

I had a great time speaking with Da’Shawn Mosley, associate editor of Sojourners, in this interview about my book, Mary Lou Williams: Music for the Soul.

Read the full interview

Preorder your signed book copy

Click on the book cover to preorder your autographed copy of Mary Lou Williams: Music for the Soul.

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Watch Deanna’s recent piano fundraiser concert online

UPDATE: In case you missed it, you can watch my June 25 piano fundraiser concert online here. The music begins at about 6 minutes into the video.

Deanna's solo concert

Watch Deanna’s recent solo concert by clicking on the above photo.

This Friday, June 25 at 7 pm EST, I’ll be giving a solo piano concert both in-person (reserve your seat here) and streaming online here at Facebook from Advent Lutheran Church in New York City. There is a suggested donation of $15; reservations for limited seating are encouraged and can be made here.

All proceeds from this event will go towards helping me purchase the Steinway B piano that you can hear me playing here (or click on the photo below).

Click on the photo to hear Deanna play her arrangement of the spiritual, “Lord, I Want to Be a Christian,” on the piano she is fundraising to purchase.

Since I moved to Pittsburgh last August, I’ve been without a piano. My old upright in NYC wasn’t worth the cost of moving, and I decided that now is the time in my career to purchase a concert-level instrument that will be my musical tool and companion for the long haul.

Last week I traveled to Lancaster to try out the Steinway B piano that you see here. This instrument has been recently rebuilt, has a singing tone, and feels great. I want it to stay with me so that I can create new music with it and play on it each day. Through your generosity thus far, we have raised $5200 for my piano fund. I need to raise another $25,000 in order to purchase this instrument.

For this Friday’s concert, all donations (whether made online or via check) will go towards helping me purchase this Steinway. There is a suggested donation of $15. To contribute via check, email me at deanna@deannajazz.com for info. And thank you for helping me to continue to create new music to share with you.

Donate via Paypal

Donate via Venmo

Fri, June 25 at 7 pm EST
Deanna Witkowski Solo Piano Concert
Advent Lutheran Church
2504 Broadway (93rd and B’Way), NYC

Reserve for in-person seating

Watch the concert on Facebook

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Advance praise for Mary Lou Williams: Music for the Soul

New book endorsements for Deanna’s forthcoming (August 15, 2021) book, Mary Lou Williams: Music for the Soul, are coming in! Here are two quotes:

“A beautifully written and expertly researched biography of one of the most fascinating Catholic artists of our time. Deanna Witkowski, a musician herself, brings to life a whole era in this engrossing new book about art, music, love, perseverance and faith.”
James Martin, SJ, author of Learning to Pray

Mary Lou Williams: Music for the Soul is a thrilling account of the extraordinary life of a brilliantly successful African American Jazz artist who became a devout Catholic—and it is so much more besides. The reader who accompanies Mary Lou on her journey bears witness to the historical circumstances that shaped her era: the evolution of Jazz music in America, the challenges African American musicians faced as they tried to practice their art, the sexism of the Jazz world, the difficult and often tragic lives of professional musicians, and the powerful appeal of the Catholic Church to artists in search of meaning in life, stability, and a spiritual home. Witkowski, as a Jazz artist herself who converted to Catholicism, is the ideal person to write this biography of Mary Lou, a figure from the great pantheon of Jazz musicians in whom she ‘unexpectedly found a soul companion and a life-long mentor.’ Her extensive musical knowledge makes her the perfect guide to Williams’s work, and her identity as a fellow Catholic enables her to empathize with Mary Lou’s spiritual journey. A meticulously researched and well-told tale, Mary Lou Williams is rife with cliffhangers, foreshadowing, tragic losses, psychic and religious visions, and unexpected intrusions of grace. It is also, to this reader’s delight, a labor of love.”
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, author of Flannery O’Connor: Fiction Fired by Faith

Read more testimonials here.

For an autographed copy, preorder here.

 

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