When Joy Overflows into Music

I’m back home in New York City after a couple of whirlwind weeks in Pittsburgh, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Philadelphia. A few photo highlights:

On June 22, photographer Urban Landreman took this shot of me performing with Nnenna Freelon, Chris Berger and Jerome Jennings at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Urban said that I was exuding joy and he wanted to capture the moment.


From that same set, bassist Chris Berger took this candid shot during a solo piano intro.

And here’s a shot of the full band from the audience.


The following night in Pittsburgh, 200 people packed out City of Asylum at Alphabet City to hear me lead a trio with Jeff Grubbs and Tom Wendt in an all Mary Lou Williams program. The photo is small- but you can give a bigger version here at the City of Asylum Facebook page!

Pittsburgh: I’ll see you on September 29 at 3 pm at East Liberty Presbyterian’s Cathedral Concerts series!


Several days later, I attended my first Chorus America conference and got to say hello to a woman who always inspires me, composer-teacher Alice Parker (93 years young!).

A final shot: One of my students at the 3-day Mary Lou Williams crash course that I taught in Pittsburgh gave me this inspiring gift, perfect for my travels.

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2 Responses to When Joy Overflows into Music

  1. Linda Dahl says:

    Hi, Deanna, Linda Dahl here, eager to talk to you. I’ve been working on a screenplay about Mary’s life and music that has become a 5-part miniseries. Also working on getting a performance going by the Riverdale Choral Society (where I live – Bronx, NY) of pieces of the Mass. Elizabeth at IJS at Rutgers tells me you did a performance of the Mass. I would love to hear that plus other Mary works and your own work too.
    All the best.

    • Deanna says:

      Hi Linda- I just now saw your message. I actually emailed you a couple of months ago via your website, but perhaps that email didn’t get through. Clips of one of the performances I played on/produced of Mary Lou’s Mass are available at https://deannawitkowski.com/mary-lou-williams.

      I’d love to chat soon. I’ll be away at a writing workshop out of state until August 10th. Let’s talk soon!

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