Mary Spencer Knapp is a multi-instrumentalist, actor, composer and educator based in Brooklyn. She is founder of cabaret soul band Toot Sweet, with whom she has released three albums of original music, and The Nightingale Fam, a family music education and performance project based in Brooklyn. Mary was an original Broadway cast member of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and has collaborated on theater projects with Obie-winning director Whitney White. Between 2015 and 2018 Mary toured South and Central America as accordionist and backing vocalist for Dominican artist Irka Mateo and in April 2022 traveled to Santo Domingo, DR to record the debut album for a new experimental punk project Death Sneeze with co-producer and drummer Lily Wen and guitarist Isaac Hernandez.
Mary has made several TV appearances including the role of Neve in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll on FX, a singer-accordionist role on Steve Buscemi's Park Bench series on AOL and with the cast of The Great Comet at the 71st Annual Tony Awards. Mary is a regular contributor to Dr. William Schimmel's annual Accordion Seminars and has performed extensively in New York City and the surrounding area with traditional Colombian dance band, Cumbia River Band.
Mary graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in voice and piano. The seed for her band, Toot Sweet, germinated with her second senior thesis concert, a cabaret show in which she arranged and performed early 20th century French and German repertoire for 8-piece ensemble with original monologues. Mary grew up in Princeton, New Jersey.