Musical Artist, Producer, Vocalist, Educator, Clinician, Music Director, Composer
Tell us a little about your background...
Lori Williams, called a "dynamic presence" (JazzTimes) and "the sought-after combination of soul and technical prowess that is reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald" (Muzikreviews.com), has a superb, melodic voice certain to "bring a tear of joy (or more) to your eye for sure" (Improvijazzation Nation). Her solo debut CD Healing Within, features an array of vocal sounds only Lori could produce that instinctively move the listener with her warm, rich voice. From the earthy, smooth version of the Freddie Hubbard composition, "Little Sunflower" to a smoman Brown, heartfelt version of the Bonnie Raitt classic, "I Can't Make You Love Me," Williams captivates the audience with her precision, vocal beauty and creative improvisations on each song. Based in Maryland, Lori divides her time between her own group, Lori Williams & Friends and the lead vocalist for Saltman Knowles Group and Collaboration. Lori has often been compared to Dianne Reeves and Phyllis Hyman and has performed with many nationally known recording artists such as Marion Meadows, David Archuleta, Vesta Williams, Phil Perry, Bobby McFerrin, Jerry Butler, Slide Hampton, Ledisi and Maysa.
Lori has extensive studio recording, live performance and commercial work experience in the USA and Japan. She has performed on numerous stages from the world renowned Blues Alley and Smooth Jazz Caribbean Cruise series to Arts United of Washington’s live jazz theatrical and dance presentations of “Meet Me at the Café” 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” at the Metro Stage Theater in Alexandria, Virginia.
Lori has taught music in Washington DC public schools since 1995, most recently being recognized as the Vincent E. Reed Teacher of the Year award. She has directed several choirs including the National Diamond Girls Jazz Choir; the Sagamihara Christian Fellowship Gospel Choir in 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.
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."