For Women’s History Month, the Healdsburg Jazz Festival presents Convergence, a virtual concert event celebrating iconic musicians Mary Lou Williams and Nina Simone through an imagined depiction of their first meeting.
The concert recounts a fictitious meeting of Williams and Simone in a lobby in Paris. When their paths cross, both artists are about to be honored by the French government with the National Order of Merit awards. Featuring original music in addition to renditions of the pair’s most well-known songs interwoven with dialogue and commentary, the event celebrates the cultural and musical contributions of the two artists.
Both Williams and Simone began playing the piano at around the age of three as children born to large families in the American south. While Williams was Simone’s senior by over two decades and their careers differed greatly, the two played during overlapping time periods. Both produced expansive bodies of work.