N.C. A&T Students, International Jazz Artist Williams to Perform During Spring Jazz Concert

By Staff Report / 04/17/2023

EAST GREENSOBOR, N.C. (April 17, 2023) – The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Jazz Ensemble will host its Spring Jazz Concert on Thursday, May 4, at 7 p.m. in Harrison Auditorium. The concert, featuring acclaimed international musician Lori Williams, is free and open to the public. 

The University Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of Jonovan Cooper, DMA, who joined the university last year after living, teaching and performing in Ethiopia, Africa and Europe. The ensemble had the opportunity to participate in an HBCU Jazz Symposium hosted by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. The members of the group coached the students and performed with them in an organized jam session. Wynton Marsalis answered questions the students asked in a Q&A session and the students were able to see Jazz at Lincoln Center perform live.

This is a photo of the Jazz Ensemble groupLast year, the ensemble highlighted sounds of Ethiopia. This year’s concert will focus on vocal jazz. The ensemble will perform jazz standards for big band and small group and feature the soulful jazz sounds of singer, music educator, songwriter, producer and musical theatre actress, Lori Williams, this year’s Artist-in-Residence.

As A&T’s Artist-in-Residence, Williams brings knowledge from her international, professional and collaborative experiences. A veteran educator in the Washington, D.C., Public Schools System and private vocal coach, Williams has received many honors including Outstanding Music Teacher, the 2007 Superintendent’s Arts Teacher of the Year, and the 2010 Vincent E. Reed Teacher of the Year. She was nominated for a 2014 Helen Hayes Award as an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Resident Musical for her role as Ella Fitzgerald. Williams has received letters of recognition for her vocal performances from President Biden, former Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Maryland State Sen. C. Anthony Muse.

This is a photo of Lori Williams

A graduate of Hampton University, Williams has toured extensively and performed in venues, including music festivals, across the United States, Europe, Japan and the British Virgin Islands. For over three decades, Williams has had the honor of working with notable artists as lead, background, studio session and guest vocalist including Oleta Adams, Yolanda Adams, Eric Benet, The Blackbyrds, Peabo Bryson, Stanley Clarke, Savion Glover, Walter Hawkins, Angela Winbush, Kindred the Family Soul and more. Williams has six independent CDs and released a single, “Too Late (It’s My Time),” in June 2022.                                 

Media Contact Information: jicrockett@ncat.edu

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