Lori Williams has been with PCJ since her first album in 2010. We are pleased to introduce you to her as the lead vocalist of the Washington-based jazz ensemble – Lori Williams & Friends – and featured vocalist on The Saltman Knowles Group, The Blackbyrds, Allyn Johnson and Divine Order, Sherry Winston and Collaboration CDs. She graduated from Hampton University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree. Lori is the proud mother of two talented and gifted children, Lauren Vanessa and Yusef Khalil. Lori was the former Director of Programs for the Best Friends Foundation. She has taught Music in Washington, DC Public Schools since 1995. Currently, Lori is the Director of Vocal Music and former Music Department Chairperson at Wilson Senior High School. She has an extensive background in the performing arts. She has directed several choirs including the National Diamond Girls Jazz Choir (performing for the Inauguration Ceremony for President George Bush); the Sagamihara Christian Fellowship Gospel Choir in Sagamihara, 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.
The Island – Session video, watch it here
Lori has performed with many nationally-known recording artists such as Oleta Adams, Yolanda Adams, David Archuleta, Regina Belle, Eric Benet, Keter Betts, The Blackbyrds, Norman Brown, Tom Browne, Peabo Bryson, Jerry Butler, T.C. Carson, Gene Chandler, Stanley Clarke, Will Downing, George Duke, David Dyson, James Genus, Savion Glover, Slide Hampton, Walter Hawkins, Nathan Heathman, William Hubbard, Al Johnson (The Unifics), Allyn Johnson and Divine Order, Kindred The Family Soul, Ben E. King, Debbie Kirkland, Ledisi, Marion Meadows, Maysa, Julia Nixon, Phil Perry, Lloyd Price, Ellie Saitoh and The Love Tambourines, Saltman Knowles Group, Sylver Logan Sharp (Chic), The Sherelles, Gary Taylor, Tony Terry, Bobby Vee and The Vees, Andre Ward, Kim Waters, Allyson Williams, Vanessa R. Williams, Vesta Williams, and Sherry Winston. She also has done extensive studio recording and commercial work in the Metropolitan area and Japan.
Lori Williams performed in Arts United of Washington’s live jazz theatrical and dance presentations of “Meet Me at the Cafe” and “The Scenic Route” at the Joy of Motion Dance Center – Jack Guidone Theatre in Washington, DC. She co-starred in “Isn’t It Romantic” (written and directed by David Hunter Koch) with Jimi Ray Malary at MetroStage as well. Additionally, Lori played the role of Mary in “Bending Towards the Light – A Jazz Nativity” at Patriot’s Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey. The production was written and conducted by Anne Phillips and produced by Bob Kindred. Lori also showcased her singing, acting and dancing ability in director Thomas Jones’ production of “The All Night Strut”, “Cool Papa’s Party” (choreographed by Maurice Hines, nominated for Outstanding Ensemble – Helen Hayes Award), and “Ladies Swing The Blues: A Jazz Fable” at MetroStage Theatre in Alexandria, Virginia. Lori was nominated for a 2014 Helen Hayes Award as an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Resident Musical for her role as Ella Fitzgerald in “Ladies Swing the Blues: A Jazz Fable”.
Lori was recognized as an outstanding Music Teacher in the October 2000 issue of Teaching Music magazine. She was selected to have her biography appear in the 2005 Premier Edition of Great Women of the 21st Century for her professional dedication and commitment to communities. She was also recognized as a 2005-2006 National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teacher. She was the recipient of the 2007 Superintendent’s Arts Teacher of the Year Award. Lori was also honored at the Mayor’s Arts Awards, held at the John F. Kennedy Center. This award was given on behalf of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, DC Public Schools, and the DC Arts. Additionally, Lori was the 2010 Vincent E. Reed Teacher of the Year. Her affiliations include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Prince Georges County Alumnae Chapter, Maryland), Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity (Hampton University), BMI (songwriter/composer), WAMADC, The International Association for Jazz Education (former President-Elect – Washington, D.C. Unit), The National Association for Female Executives, Kappa Tau Alpha and DC – Music Educators Association.
Lori Williams released her debut CD ~ Healing Within ~ in 2010. This project is dedicated to the memory of her Mother – Myrtle W. Williams.
available on iTunes here: