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Deanna Witkowski

Known for her adventurous, engaging music that heals the soul, pianist-composer-vocalist Deanna Witkowski moves with remarkable ease between Brazilian, jazz, classical, and sacred music. The award- winning bandleader releases her seventh recording, Force of Nature (MCG Jazz) in January 2022, a companion piece to her biography, Mary Lou Williams: Music For The Soul (Liturgical Press), published in September 2021. The two projects cap a twenty-year deep dive into the ground-breaking impact of Williams’ life and music, making Witkowski one of the few living authorities on the iconic pianist. As a sought after Williams expert, she has presented at the Kennedy Center, Duke University, Fordham University, and performed Williams’ compositions as a featured guest with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

In concert and on recordings, Witkowski’s explosive performances combine virtuosity and heart, telling stories that reveal her innate curiosity of the human condition. Her albums range from powerhouse arrangements of Cole Porter standards (Wide Open Window; Length of Days) to sparkling trio re- imaginings of traditional hymns (Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns) to solo piano that blurs the lines between Brazilian, jazz, and classical (Raindrop: Improvisations with Chopin). Witkowski has recorded with Grammy nominees John Patitucci, Kate McGarry, and Donny McCaslin, and has performed and toured with renowned vocalists Lizz Wright, Nnenna Freelon, Erin Bode, Filó Machado, and Vanessa Rubin.

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MUSIC PRAISE: Witkowski's playing is consistently thrilling, and her musical imagination seems boundless. -Rick Anderson, All Music Guide

One of the best of the new generation of jazz piano players. -Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal International

PRAISE FOR DEANNA'S BOOK, MARY LOU WILLIAMS: MUSIC FOR THE SOUL: ”A beautifully written and expertly researched biography of one of the most fascinating Catholic artists of our time. Deanna Witkowski, a musician herself, brings to life a whole era in this engrossing new book about art, music, love, perseverance, and faith.” -James Martin, SJ, author of Learning to Pray

“An impressively informative and exceptionally well-written biography of a remarkable woman and her equally remarkable talent.” -Midwest Book Review

Primary Instrument

Piano

Location

Pittsburgh

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Photos

Concert Schedule

Albums

Force of Nature

MCG Jazz
2022

buy

Makes the Heart to...

Tilapia Records
2017

buy

Raindrop:...

Tilapia Records
2014

buy

From This Place

Tilapia Records
2009

buy

Length of Days

ArtistShare
2005

buy

Wide Open Window

Khaeon World Music
2003

buy

Carcinoma

From: Force of Nature
By Deanna Witkowski

Kings of Orient (We Three Kings)

From: Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz...
By Deanna Witkowski

Light that Shimmers

From: Raindrop: Improvisations with...
By Deanna Witkowski

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