Lori Williams


Name:                                     Lori Williams

Address:                                 9521 Fort Foote Road

Fort Washington, MD20744

Website:                                 www.lorijazz.com


Teaching and administrative experience

2005 – present                          DCPS/Wilson Senior High School             Washington, DC

Director of Choirs/Music Teacher

Special Education Teacher/Music Consultant

Responsible for implementing a comprehensive high school vocal music program in the school’s music department.  Direct the high school choir and expose students to various forms of music via performance, educational trips, adjudicated festivals, technology, docent visits, in-school performances, inclusion, and community service.  Assist the Music Department with general music and choral instruction. Instructed high school students in the Special Education department in the disciplines of Environmental Science, Media Studies, and Transitions.  Prepared IEP documents for parental and departmental review.

2002 – 2005                           Best Friends Foundation                                Washington, DC

National and Metropolitan Leadership Program Director

2000 – 2002                           Best Friends Foundation                                Washington, DC

Community Arts Director

2000 – 2002                           Best Friends Foundation                                 Washington, DC

Communications/Cultural Arts Director

1998 – 2005                           Best Friends Foundation                         Washington, DC

National Diamond Girls Jazz Choir Director

Assisted in the development and implementation of the Diamond Girls Leadership Program.

Provided program, training and technical assistance to the metropolitan and national replication sites. Monitored the delivery of the Best Friends model curriculum to the national replication sites and 13 metro DC Schools serving over 6,000 students.  Provided instruction and supervision to the Diamond Girl Leadership and Best Men Leadership program serving 661 students.   Responsible for maintaining foundation database and tracking budget expenditures as it related to the high school component.  Responsible for organizing and facilitating all aspects of the cultural and community service activities for the school programs.  Managed and directed the musical component, exposing students to various forms of music via performance, educational trips, technology, docent visits, in-school performances, inclusion, and community service.  Wrote and edited articles for the Foundation newsletter.  Handled media relations. Created and implemented curriculum.

1991 – 2000                             DCPS/DODDS                                             Japan/USA

Teacher/Arts and Humanities Liaison

Instructed students in grades PK-12 in music education, performing arts, applying theoretical and hands-on approaches for various learning styles.  Exposed students to various forms of music via educational trips, in-school performances, and inclusion.  Key Communicator for the Arts For Every Student Program.

Education Technician/A.A.

Maintained monthly data for the Case Study Committee/Special Education Program.  Handled documents for assessed students.  Trained by DODDS Special Education Coordinator in government documentation analyzing.

1988 – Present              Kanto Plain/East Coast                                   Japan/USA

Musical Director/Performer

Director: Wilson Senior High School Concert Choir; Best Friends Diamond Girls Jazz Choir; Carmody Hills Youth Choir, Christian Family Baptist Church Youth Choir; Fort Foote Baptist Church Gospel Choir; Thomson Elementary School Choir; Rejoice – a capella ensemble based in Yokohama; Sagamigara Christian Fellowship Gospel/Women’s/Youth Choirs; Bethlehem Baptist Church Gospel Choir.


Educational background/Bio/Professional Service:

1984 – 1988                 Hampton University, Hampton, VA

Mass Media Arts – Dean’s List

WYCB-AM 1340, DC/Production Director

WHOV-FM 88.3, VA/Jazz Program Director

The Virginia News Network, VA/News Intern

The Daily Press Newspaper, VA/News Intern

1996 – 1998                Trinity College, Washington, DC

Education – 15 Graduate Hours

Lori Williams is the lead vocalist for two Washington-based jazz ensembles (Lori Williams & Friends and Collaboration). She graduated from Hampton University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts. She is enrolled at the University of the District of Columbia pursuing a Jazz Studies 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 also taught Music at Thomson Elementary School in Washington, DC.  Currently, Lori is the Director of Vocal Music and former Music Department Chairperson at WilsonSenior High School (also in the District).  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.

Lori has performed with many nationally-known recording artists such as David Archuleta, Regina Belle, Eric Benet, Keter Betts, The Blackbyrds, Tom Browne, Jerry Butler, T.C. Carson, Gene Chandler, Will Downing, David Dyson, James Genus, Savion Glover, Slide Hampton, Walter Hawkins, Nathan Heathman, William Hubbard, Al Johnson (former lead singer of The Unifics), Allyn Johnson and Divine Order, 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 (former lead singer of 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 Café” and “The Scenic Route” at the Joy of Motion Dance Center – Jack Guidone Theatre in Washington, DC.   She also showcased her singing, acting and dancing ability in director Thomas Jones’ production of “The All Night Strut” and “Cool Papa’s Party” (choreographed by Maurice Hines) at the MetroStage Theatre in Alexandria, Virginia.  She co-starred in “Isn’t It Romantic” (written and directed by David Hunter Koch with Jimi Ray Malary); and performed in the Jazz Age Musical “Glimpses of the Moon” 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.

BENDING TOWARDS THE LIGHT – A JAZZ NATIVITY“Allan Harris taking over the role of host as well as overture singer, Kindred’s stunning “Silent Night” on tenor saxophone in the darkness at the opening, alto saxophonist Jon Gordon’s roaring solo on “The First Noel,” shepherd boy Elvie Williams’ soprano voice that brought tears and a standing ovation when he sang the title song, “Bending Towards the Light,” the addition of Joseph, James Mayo, singing a duet with Mary, Lori Williams on her lullaby “Softly Falls The Gentle Night” … breathtaking.”www.jazznativity.comMEET ME AT THE CAFÉ“The evening’s standout, vocalist Lori Williams, crooned most of the jazz standards with a smoke-and-honey voice.”
Lisa Traiger – The Washington Post

“Arts United of Washington again combines drama, music and dance for their program, “Meet Me at the Cafe”, at the Joy of Motion Dance Center on Wisconsin Avenue.  It is a pleasant 90 minutes of an intermissionless theatrical but the winner is definitely the superb jazz quartet that gave a solid performance along with vocalist, Lori Anne Williams, who gave comparable scatting to the late Ella.”

Bob Anthony – Foggy Bottom News


“More diminutive but no less powerful, Lori Anne Williams and her honeytinged soprano particularly shine on the World War II medley including “G.I. Jive,” “Shoo Shoo Baby,” “Rosie the Riveter,” and “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” However, Williams’ best moment comes near the end, when she scats some lines after singing on the seductive “I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl.” The moment is pure exhilaration, which is almost unmatched throughout the evening.”

Deryl Davis – Washington Theater Review


“…the atmosphere lights up when Williams lets fly with her ringing vocals…”

Celia Wren – The Washington Post

“A local jazz favorite, Williams adds a playful touch to the evening — her voice has a light, sparkling tonality with a breezy upper register that belies the full bodied heft beneath it.  Just listen to her sizzling rendering of some Ella Fitzgerald scatting for perfect pitch and trump solid delivery.  She’s a perfect complement to Malary’s beautiful Billy Eckstein mellow pitch.”

Debbie Jackson – DC Theatre Scene

COOL PAPA’S PARTY (nominated for Helen Hayes Awards in 2010 in six categories)

“MetroStage favorite Lori Williams is back and better than ever. While fans got a taste of the multifaceted vocalist’s range in Isn’t It Romantic, the Cool Papa score allows Williams’ voice to soar to new heights with an impressive display of scat and blues.”

Jeanne Theisman – Alexandria Times

“Beyond Kearse, the cast includes noteworthy work by Roz White and Lori Williams in multiple roles as central women figures with clearly differentiated singing and dancing styles.” “In their work harmonizing, the sound was appealing and sometimes charming, as the tough belter (White), the honeyed vulnerable (Williams), and the rich baritones (Horen and Vincent) melded with the smoothness of  Kearse.”

David Siegel – Potomac Stages

Nominees in the Best Ensemble category Roz White and Lori Williams (“Cool Papa’s Party”)


Professional organizations (specifying leadership roles)

Affiliations include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (Prince Georges County Alumnae Chapter, Maryland),  BMI (songwriter/composer), WAMADC, The International Association for Jazz Education (former President-Elect – Washington, D.C. Unit), The National Association for Female Executives, and Kappa Tau Alpha.    DC – Music Educators Association (Lori Anne Williams is a nominee for Secretary).


Publications, research, and creative work

Best Friends Foundation Curriculum –

Diamond Girls Journal Organizer

© 2004 – Fifth Edition

Best Men Leadership Journal Organizer

© 2004 – Fifth Edition



Best Friends Foundation Newsletter – Heart to Heart

© 2002; © 2003



Library of Congress – Creative Work

1. Registration Number:



Best Men Theme Chant / written and arr. by Lori Anne Williams.


Compact disc & lyrics sheet.


Lori Anne Williams







Author on © Application:

words, music & arr.: acLori Ann Williams , 1967- (author of a work
made for hire)

Special Codes:


2. Registration Number:



What Have I Found in You? / by Lori Williams.


1 sound cassette + lyrics.


Title on lyrics: You.


Lori Anne Williams





Author on © Application:

words, music, arr.: Lori Anne Williams.

Special Codes:


3. Registration Number:



Taste Your Kiss.


Compact disc & lyrics.


(c) (p) on words, music, recording; acLori Anne Williams , 1967-





Special Codes:


4. Registration Number:



How Can I Begin Again?


Compact disc & 3 p.


(c) (p) on words, music, arr., recording; acLori Anne Williams ,





Special Codes:


5. Registration Number:



Make Music Not Madness: theme song.


Compact disc & lyrics.


(c) acLori Anne Williams , 1967-





Author on © Application:

music & lyrics: Lori Anne Williams.

Special Codes:


Recorded Projects –

Lori Williams – Healing Within (2010); © Copyright Lori A. Williams, 2010






This review is from: Healing Within (Audio CD)

I just extended my drive home, just so I could listen to every track on this cd….WOW!! From track 1 to 12, they’re all hits. Lori’s strong and passionate voice, sends chills from head to toe. Where has this voice been all our jazz loving lives!! If you haven’t bought your copy, you are missing greatness in the making!! I attended the release party for this cd and was not disappointed. Powerful vocals and strong music are as tangible as a caressed cheek! Don’t deny yourself any longer, Healing Within is a must have for the serious jazz lover!!!

[Lori Williams – CD Release; Photo courtesty of Phelan Marc]

Williams’ sensually sophisticated style is nuanced with her gospel roots. Watching her slink across the stage you just have to lean back and wonder how such tremendously complex and rhythmic vocals can come from her tiny frame. ~ Jordan Wright, whiskandquill.com

Saltman Knowles Group – Yesterday’s Man (2010)

“Cry” is a memorable tune, the stand-out track for me.  Williams’ wordless vocal is beautifully featured over three different rhythmic feels: a piano/bass ostinato, a swinging Blakey release and a section over sustained chords. Williams’ ululations in the coda add another dimension entirely – her scatting gets me every time – it’s a real ‘hairs stand up on the back of your neck’ voice and it’s simply wonderful to hear – like the best of Dianne Reeves or Carmen Lundy but only sounding like Lori Williams. ~ notreble.com

Saltman Knowles Group – Return of the Composer (2009)

But they also explore melody and rhythm and on this CD have brought in vocalist Lori Williams to expand the boundaries. With ideas that are stimulating enough, the effect is quite striking. ~ allaboutjazz.com

Sylver Logan Sharp – Place to Begin (2009)

Sherry Winston – For Your Love (2009)

The soulful vocals of Lori Anne Williams and Timmy Maia make this song a true keeper and their vision of Sherry’s title song is immaculate. ~ soundsoftimelessjazz.com

Common Knowledge – Well Kept Secret (2008)

Saltman-Knowles Quintet – It’s About the Melody (2007)

The music’s core is the unquestionable chemistry of the Soulservice alumni (Saltman, Knowles, saxophonist Charles Langford, and drummer Mark Prince), but its active ingredient is the crisp, clear-as-a-bell voice of Lori Williams. She almost effortlessly glides—one might even say floats—through the tunes which, like all great songs, are easy to sing but almost impossible to sing well. ~ allaboutjazz.com

Maysa – Feel The Fire (2007)

Maysa – Sweet Classic Soul (2006)

Marion Meadows – Dressed to Chill (2006)

I Believe I Can Fly is a cover of Robert Kelly’s original gospel-soul composed for the Michael Jordan movie “Space Jam” (1996). This song was produced by Chris Big Dog Davis who also plays keyboards and programming on this tune. Randy Bowland adds some guitar riffs and the whole tune is well-garnished by the lovely vocals of background singers Vanessa Williams, Lori Williams and Raymond Reeder.

Kim Waters – All For Love (2005)

Collaboration – Because of You (2003)

Tunes of note, and there are many, include My Funny Valentine, which is a tight piece with very deliberate and polished vocals by one Lori Williams, whose intonations and style can easily remind one of Anita Baker. ~ jazzreview.com

JuJu – Black Face (2003 – released in Japan)

Mike Stephens Project – Half Past Autumn (1999)


Honors and awards

  • Recognized as an outstanding Music Teacher in the October 2000 issue of Teaching Music magazine.
  • 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.
  • Selected to be recognized as a 2005-2006 National Honor Roll’s Outstanding American Teacher.
  • Selected to be recognized in the 2007-2008 Edition of Who’s Who in American Education.
  • Named the 2007 Superintendent’s Arts Teacher of the Year Award recipient; DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities – 22nd Annual Mayor’s Arts Award.
  • Named the 2010 Vincent E. Reed Outstanding Teacher for Excellence in Teaching – WilsonSenior High School.