Jazz star celebrates her birthday with a concert in Langley

Leave your troubles behind and listen to some joyful noise.

Jessica Williams relaxes at her beloved piano.

Jessica Williams relaxes at her beloved piano.

Leave your troubles behind and listen to some joyful noise.

Knowing the power of music and the need for it in tough times, Maureen Girard has invited legendary jazz pianist Jessica Williams to her 88 Keys Piano Studio and Performance Space in Langley for a house concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 21.

Williams will celebrate her 61st birthday while she performs a solo piano concert, plus a duet on two pianos with Girard for a portion of the evening.

“We have always needed art in tough times; history shows us that,” Girard said. “Music can lift people’s spirits and touch us emotionally in a unique way. We can leave our troubles behind, just for a while, and gain strength from each other and from beautiful music.”

Williams is considered one of the top jazz pianists in the world, having made more than 65 recordings in her lifetime.

A powerful virtuoso who has been described as having uncanny control of the instrument, Williams often leaves audiences and reviewers dumbstruck in awe of her ability at the piano.

A two-time Grammy nominee, Williams was classically trained at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

As a young artist, she worked with the great Philly Joe Jones, a drummer for the Miles Davis Quintet.

She also played in the bands of Eddie Harris, Tony Williams, Stan Getz, Big Nick Nicholaus, Airto and Flora Purim, Charlie Rouse, John Abercrombie, Leroy Vinnegar and others.

Jazz aficionados and the uninitiated alike will appreciate the opportunity to hear one of the greatest living jazz pianists in the intimate setting of the 88 Keys Piano Studio.

In keeping with the spirit of the concert, reservations are available for a suggested donation of $30; refreshments will be served.

Girard said she would like as many people as possible to have the option to hear the “joyful noise” of Williams at the piano.

Reservations can be made by calling 221-0362 or by visiting www.maureengirard.com.

The studio is at 5024 Saratoga Road in Langley. Parking is available on site.

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