Mary Louise Knutson

Jazz Pianist & Composer

Jazz pianist and composer, Mary Louise Knutson, has been called "one of the most exciting artists to happen to jazz piano in quite some time." Her latest trio CD, In the Bubble, charted in JazzWeek's Top 10.

Ranked in JazzWeek’s Top 10, pianist Mary Louise Knutson’s new trio CD, In the Bubble, showcases her warm soulful touch, tasteful arranging, and gift for composition. These ten will remain at the top of your playlist for years.
JAZZIZ Magazine

Call Me When You Get There is...state-of-the-art piano trio finery.
JazzTimes excellent pianist whose voicings sometimes recall Bill Evans...she has a talent for coming up with fresh melodies. This is an impressive disc...
— Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene

This is timeless, classic piano trio music, right up there with Bill Evans and Bill Charlap.
— Pamela Espeland, Star Tribune (Mpls-St. Paul)

...a masterful combination of original works and new arrangements... Knutson’s compositions are marked by exquisite melodies, emotive harmonies, shifting rhythms and an elegant touch that recalls McPartland, Arriale, and Jarrett.
— Andrea Canter,

There are always two CDs in my player, Bill Charlap’s Written In the Stars and Mary Louise Knutson’s Call Me When You Get There. They never miss.
— Ron Fundingsland, KSUT Host

Mary Louise Knutson is somewhat reminiscent of Marian McPartland with her combination of strength and lyricism, line and texture, fresh reconceptions and exciting, beautiful original melodies. Piano Jazz is alive and well in Minnesota.
— Andrea Canter,

Her straight-ahead approach...spotlights her luminous work on the ivories, which is endearingly lyrical, sprightly, and rife with inventive nuances. She’s been accurately compared to Bill Evans and Marian McPartland, with maybe the playful spirit of Vince Guaraldi thrown in.
— Rick Mason, City Pages (Mpls-St. Paul) exquisite listening experience.
— Maria Miaoulis,

In The Bubble is so good! Swinging, tender, rich, soulful and bursting with originality. Brilliant arrangements give way to originals that are both mesmerizing and moving. And that intro to!
— Ron Fundingsland, KSUT Host

In The Bubble is a brilliant recording...
— Christopher Cooke, KIOS Host of the best area jazz releases of the past decade.
— Andrea Canter, is some of the most mindful jazz I have had the pleasure of listening to over the years. I am so happy that I found you on a Pandora mix. I now have a Mary Louise Knutson station on Pandora. Thank you for your wonderful artistry. You are a treasure to the world of music.
— Chuck Wentz, Fan

My iPod, with 3376 songs on it...each time yours comes ‘round it stops me in my tracks. I honestly don’t know what it is, but there’s something about your playing so deeply from your heart...your music moves the soul.
— Anne Carroll, Fan

I always find it very heartening to listen to a CD with writing that makes both the mind and the soul.
Anton Schwartz, Recording Artist

I got Call Me When You Get There from a friend at a time I really needed some cheer. This album was awesome. The phrasing is perfect, and unlike other jazz trios, there is no pretension to Ms. Knutson’s work. I’m especially charmed by “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” — making something fresh out of what could be a hackneyed standard. But the whole album is fresh, relaxing, and inspirational. If you love jazz piano - this is an amazing find....a treasure for any jazz collection.
— Fan, Amazon

I like Knutson’s CD, very nice mood, cool arrangements, and I particularly like her original tunes.
Ben Sidran, NPR Host of Jazz Alive, Recording Artist, Producer

Your music was spectacular and you charmed everyone that met you.
— Bill Perkins, Artistic Director, Johnson City Jazz Fest

Dizzy Gillespie made it Ow! Knutson quintet made it WOW! Great show.
— Scott L. James, Fan

A stunning and sometimes virtuosic jazz display by the Mary Louise Knutson Quintet…
— David Schmieding, Fan

...your concert was magnificent. I expect high things from you and the people you bring with you, but Saturday you guys outdid yourselves. It was a great night for our series. From the first notes you had grabbed the audience and didn’t let go until about an hour after you finished!
— Jeff Whitmill, Artistic Director, Jazz@St.Barney's

For a nice close-your-eyes-and-melt-in-your-chair ballad, listen to Knutson’s mellifluous version of Brandt & Haymes standard ‘That’s All.’ Knutson’s music is easy on the ears and should bring a smile to your face.
— Brian S. Lunde,

I’m sitting in the train station in Providence, RI, listening to the fabulous music they’re playing...first Getz when I walk in, then Billie, then . . . wait, who IS that? So tasty. Not Bill, not Ellis, but with the same beautiful touch. Hmm . . . someone contemporary. Ahh, such beautiful Tommy-type tone. Hmm . . . I’ll Shazam . . . It’s Mary Louise!!!!!! Yeah, baby!
Judy Carmichael, NPR Host of Jazz Inspired, Pianist-Vocalist-Author

Mary Louise Knutson has to be one of the most exciting and innovative artists to happen to jazz piano in quite some time. She shows the smoothness and feeling of a Bill Evans (probably the best ever). Her compositions are excellent along with her playing. The performance of the group on the album is superb. Let’s hope that this is just the first of many more efforts from this fine artist.
— Fan,

Listening to Knutson’s signature piece is like eating chocolate mousse; smooth, rich and filling. Yumm.
— Bob Friedman, Fan

When the stresses of daily living accumulate...I can listen to your music, and it serves to re-connect all of the parts of my body and like yours is spiritual renewal!
— Fred Wester, Fan

I clicked on “Talk To Me” and let the music flow into the morning while preparing to get ready for work. Then it happened. As the music started, I felt something shift and I felt the anxiety about the day ahead begin to fade...replaced by a palpable sense of peace and well-being. That feeling lasted for over four hours - changed the entire tenor of the day - I can still feel it. Thank you for having the courage to keep intellectual, emotional and “spiritual” integrity in your music!
— Gary Albrigtson, Fan

You left us in a rare state tonight. The three of you seemed incapable of doing anything that wasn’t magnificent, astonishing and altogether delightful - what a great night!
— Jeff Whitmill, Artistic Director, Jazz@StBarney's

The audience was ecstatic about your solo performances as well as your collaborations...
they were ‘wowed’ by your technical prowess as well as your engaging presentation style.
— Jan Viktora, University of St. Thomas

We have had the best reviews ever from the public! Thank you for the show it was great!
— Tom Nigbor, The Park Theater

...she treats every gig as if it were a command performance for the toniest crowd you could imagine.
— Jeff Whitmill, Artistic Director, Jazz@StBarney's

For the two hours during your show, I experienced one of the most sense awakening and soothing occasions I believe I’ve had in my life. The music you and the two gentlemen provided truly allowed me to escape and find pleasure in a venue I didn’t really think was possible. I had heard people speaking of music transporting them to another place before; now I can truly understand the possibility in that. You have created a fan now in the wonderful sound of jazz music.
— Blaine Maher, Fan

Your personal concert on Thursday was just the relief and release I needed after a trying week of caring for elderly parents. In the middle of the evening, I realized that I’d completely forgotten my woes - it was wonderful!
— Margaret Tabar, Fan

It was a blow-out wonderful gig! A huge crowd, and remarkable performances by all three of the musicians. A real treat!
— Jeff Whitmill, Jazz@StBarney's

...listening to your music is, for me, like in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy steps out of the house and everything is in color! Your playing is not only wonderful and fun to hear, but inspiring as well.
— Randall Hanson, Fan

What a superb concert in every respect. You are so warm and welcoming you make your audience feel like you are in their living room - plus I love it when you tell folks the background of the composers. Your spirit of generosity, humility and kindness shines through in everything you do.
Madeleine Hart, Singer-Songwriter

I don’t know what I enjoyed more—your inventive solos or your perfect accompaniment... It was a magical evening, and I’m just crazy about your playing. Thank you so much for a thoroughly enjoyable night.
— William Schrickel, Minnesota Orchestra

Swinging and wonderful...In the Bubble is my pleasant surprise of the day. I love it.
Judy Carmichael, NPR Host of Jazz Inspired, Pianist-Vocalist-Author

...the show at Vieux Carré was amazing. ...such a world class performance in a small intimate venue in St. Paul. ...the band performed with the same level of energy as if in a major venue in New York or Europe.
— Dan Casar, Fan

One of the best concerts I have heard in years.
— Jim Pogue, Fan

It was a smash hit. My daughter had heard you on CD, but seeing you in person blew her away. Your personal greeting to each of the arriving audience was an unexpected and charming addition. Thank YOU, and your trio for a totally enjoyable and memorable musical experience.
— Anonymous Donor who supported a Mary Louise Knutson Trio Performance at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis