Mary Lou's Apartment

DANCE FLOOR OPEN! all-women big band celebrating African American musical geniuses

Mary Lou's Apartment

Sunday, April 28th

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

$16 ADV / $20 DOOR (plus fees)

  • DANCE FLOOR OPEN!

  • All tickets are subject to an additional $4 per ticket facility fee.

Mary Lou's Apartment
Mary Lou's Apartment
With gratitude and excitement, Mary Lou’s Apartment returns to the Freight for a night of great music in an atmosphere of kindness, joy, political action and fun. Mary Lou’s Apartment is an all-women compact-yet-mighty big band that’s burst on the scene to feature the music of African American musical geniuses Mary Lou Williams and Melba Liston. It’s all about exceptional, sophisticated, swinging music and great company.

Mary Lou’s Apartment presents compositions and arrangements that have been overlooked - music that’s endlessly contemporary and soulful. When they debuted at the Freight last year, music critic Andy Gilbert called Mary Lou’s Apartment out as “a fantastic 13-piece band [with an] enthralling book of tunes and arrangements [that] delivers showstoppers with ease.”

Mary Lou Williams, a jazz giant with formidable piano chops and stellar composing and arranging skills, welcomed fellow luminaries including Monk, Dizzy and Sarah to her Harlem apartment after hours, where she shared her musical discoveries. Melba Liston, another jazz giant with formidable trombone chops and stellar composing and arranging skills, was a younger sister of sorts to Mary Lou, who performed world-wide with the likes of Dizzy, Quincy Jones and Gerald Wilson. Both Mary Lou and Melba are far from household names - they’ve been hidden in plain sight - because they were women.


This time at the Freight, the band digs deep into Mary Lou and Melba’s appealing and danceable jazz compositions, and they’re also planning a few surprises.

Come on over to the Apartment!

Mary Lou’s Apartment is:
Mwamba Blakwomyn, bass and co-leader
Pat Mullan, trombone and co-leader
Georgianna Krieger, alto sax
Nzingah Smith, alto sax
Barbara Hunter, tenor sax
Jonnette Newton, bari sax
Rachel Doolittle, trumpet
Candace Sanderson, trumpet
Claire Hass, trombone
Debra Temple, piano
Joyce Baker, drums
Renaye Brown, percussion
Deborah Tisdale, vocals
Dr. Christy Dana, musical consultant



Click the text below to hear Mary Lou's Apartment recordings

*SHAFI - Mary Lou’s Apartment - composed and arranged by Mary Lou Williams

*BEN LOVES LU - Mary Lou’s Apartment - composed and arranged by Melba Liston

*Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Heidi Trefethen
*Photo: Tim Burgess