About Mary Lou's Mass
Not performed in its entirety in over 35 years, Mary Lou’s Mass showcases the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater dancers in a compelling story about the trials and joys experienced by people everywhere. Alvin Ailey’s joyous collaboration with jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams, two artists who shared roots and memories in the southern church, is a deeply spirited work showcasing Mr. Ailey’s inspired choreography and Ms. Williams’ soulful and uplifting mass – “Music for Peace.” Mary Lou Williams wrote and arranged for such famed bandleaders as Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and was friend, mentor, and teacher to Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. The New York Times heralded the ballet as a “celebration of life, jazz, and gospel, an assertively happy work.”
The reconstruction of Mary Lou’s Mass was made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius.
Generous support for this new production was also provided by The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey - Sara & Bill Morgan New Works Endowment Fund and The Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn & Nicolas Rohatyn New Works Endowment Fund.