The competition is open to advanced female jazz pianists who have never had a major record-label contract. Five applicants will be chosen to play in the finals on May 20, 2005.
The winner will play at the 11th Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival in May 2006.
Mary Lou Williams, one of the first ladies of jazz, was a pianist, composer, and arranger of boogie-woogie, blues, ragtime, swing, and others. She worked with many jazz greats, including Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman. She was also a teacher and mentor.
The festival that bears her name promotes and encourages female jazz players with three days of performances, jam sessions, seminars, and discussions. The 10th Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival will take place May 19-21, 2005.