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Joe Williams was born in rural Georgia to a single mother. She moved the family – her son and her parents to Chicago in the early 1920s. And the music scene there became the formative experience for Williams.

He died in 1999 in Las Vegas but he and his wife had created scholarship fund for jazz music students at UNLV.

This Sunday in the Artemus Ham Concert Hall on the UNLV campus, performers such as Ben Vereen and Pia Zadora will be appearing in the 2nd Annual Joe Williams Jazz Scholarship Fundraising Concert.


Support comes from


Dave Loeb, UNLV’s Director of Jazz Studies