17 March 1948, Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Learning to play piano as a child and studying classical music at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Williams turned to jazz and was playing professionally at the age of 14. In Philadelphia, she was a member of the Philly Joe Jones Quartet and also worked with Joe Morello and singer Ethel Ennis. In 1977 she relocated to the west coast which remained her base into the 90s. Her reputation grew in San Francisco, Sacramento and other centres but despite playing in bands led by Stan Getz, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson, Charlie Rouse, Airto Moreira, John Abercrombie and others, and some early recordings, the wider world of jazz remained largely unaware of her existence. All this began to change from the mid-80s when a succession of fine recordings began to appear. Received ecstatically by the jazz press in the USA and UK, awards followed and frequent overseas tours and appearances at international festivals helped consolidate...
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