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For pianist Renee Rosnes, the making of her fourth album, Ancestors, was a way of honoring a family she had just met and another she had to say goodbye to. Soon after the Canadian jazzer found her biological mother, her adoptive mother died of cancer. Ancestors projects a plaintive though hopeful aura, blending the joy of finding one’s history and the sorrow of letting go of one’s past. Rosnes originals “The Ache of the Absence” and “The Gift” (dedicated to her mentor, Herbie Hancock) and Alec Wilder’s “The Sounds Around the House” are exquisite ballads that showcase Rosnes’ sensitive touch. Rosnes performs with her quartet at the Kennedy Center’s “Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.” The festival, which features other great pianists like Lynne Arriale and Eliane Elias, pays tribute to Williams, a pioneering arranger, pianist, and businesswoman. Rosnes performs with the Uptown String Quartet, the All-Star Ensemble, the Geri Allen Trio, and Diva at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. $25. (202) 467-4600; In addition to several Kennedy Center concerts, the gala features seminars, film tributes, and jam sessions; see concert listings and Showtimes for full schedule and venues. (Christopher Porter)