Known for her versatility and flair for improvisation, cellist Mary Wooten’s musical endeavors have taken her to concert halls, avant-garde clubs, and jazz festivals around the world. A founding member of the Soldier and Sirius string quartets, Ms. Wooten is one of the pioneers who helped propel the classical string world toward new ventures with improvisation and electronically altered instruments. As quartet cellist she has premiered new music with Marin Alsop’s Concordia Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, at Lincoln Center’s Serious Fun! Festival, in live broadcasts on John Shaffer’s New Sounds series for National Public Radio, and in concerts at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Collaborations with such innovative musicians as John Zorn, Philip Glass, Jon Rose, Robert Dick, La Monte Young, and Elliot Sharp have led to performances not only in New York’s Tonic, The Knitting Factory, and The Kitchen but also at many new music locales and festivals in Europe, including Amsterdam’s Bimhuis and Ijsbreker clubs, Szene Wien in Vienna, and Cologne’s Musik Triennale festival.
With New York City as home base, Mary plays chamber and orchestral concerts in the city’s major concert halls and records for feature film soundtracks and national and international television and radio advertising. Broadway credits include performances in The New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of Chekhov’s The Seagull with Meryl Streep, an appearance as solo cellist with Corin Redgrave at Circle in the Square, and improvisational roles as cellist onstage in Catherine Gillet’s Wyoming and in the haunting chamber opera, Billy and Zelda by Tina Davidson.
Ms. Wooten has traveled trans-Atlantic and –Pacific to many exotic ports of call around the world as a chamber soloist aboard select Cunard cruise ships. She concertizes frequently abroad with Septeto Roberto Rodriguez, a Klezmer/Cuban ensemble, and has performed at the jazz festivals of Montreal, North Sea, Saalfelden, Umbria, and at the Tokyo Blue Note Jazz Club. In another trip to Japan, Mary was a featured Hanshin World Artist, playing solo cello in a tour of seven cities.
Mary has been a back-up musician onstage with artists David Bowie, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Enya, Lenny Kravitz, Carole King, Tony Bennet, Diahann Carroll, and Johnny Mathis, and has made television appearances on MTV Unplugged, Late Night with David Letterman, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The View, Oxygen Network, and Live with Regis and Kelly. She is featured in Billy Joel’s video All About Soul, and has recorded with David Bowie, Sheryl Crow, Mariah Carey, Joe Jackson, Marianne Faithfull, Donna Summer, Jazz Passengers, Kenny Werner, and Jane Ira Bloom.