It was like I had a ticker tape running through my brain when I would perform. The vocalist has created a diverse collection of recordings, including tribute albums to Horace Silver, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Kurt Weill; an album of French love songs,  J'ai Deux Amours, spurred by a Kennedy Center Valentine’s Day concert; and an album born out of Bridgewater's search for her African ancestry, Red Earth, recorded in Bamako, Mali, and featuring Malian, U.S., and European  musicians. 6. And I think I sang “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “Fly Me to the Moon.” I remember the audience really kind of going crazy. So I gathered up the nerve, and I went up to Mel Lewis, and I said, “Mr. Used by permission of Ray Henderson Music Co. Inc. and BMG Firefly [ASCAP]. Dee Dee Bridgewater combines immense talent and energy with a commanding personality. Excerpt of “You’ve Changed,” composed by Carl Fischer, lyrics by Bill Carey. The word polymath comes to mind. Excerpt of “Bad Spirits (Bani)” composed and performed by Dee Dee Bridgewater from the cd, Red Earth: A Malian Journey. Yeah, yeah, yeah.”. It’s a horrible way to learn a language. Dee Dee Bridgewater is a daring performer of great depth whose singing talents have earned her three Grammy Awards as well as a Tony Award. Josephine Reed: You were so young. I can kind of follow a melody now, you know. For 23 years, she was the host of National Public Radio's syndicated radio show JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater. They were sitting in the living room of—of our little modest house in—in Flint, Michigan. Dee Dee's second self-titled album (fourth American album overall) marks an end to the singer's comercially-oriented r&b/jazz lite fusion period. Lewis, I’d like to audition, too.” And he said, “Well, it’s a little late. They were 13 of the best years I ever had. Bridgewater was also drawn to musical theater. Her portrayal of Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway musical The Wiz garnered her a Tony Award in 1975. It was a beautiful show because I really tried to stay true to, you know, my jazz thing. Dee Dee Bridgewater was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Marion and Matthew Garrett. bad for me DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER. And my dream was to come down some big winding staircase with all the gorgeous men on either side, and you know, go—break into some dance and song number at the bottom of the stairwell and be lifted up in the air by—by the male dancers. Dee Dee Bridgewater: I’m a frustrated musician. Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, Grammy and Tony Award-winning Jazz giant Dee Dee Bridgewater has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists, putting her unique spin on standards, as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. I’m proud to be among the women who hold this, the highest honor bestowed on jazz artists in the United States.”Â. One of the best jazz singers of her generation, Dee Dee Bridgewater had to move to France to find herself. But they decided that, after about six months of Cecil’s being in the band, Thad and Mel decided that they needed a female singer. Motown started when I was 12, in 1962, so, all of us who loved music, we were aspiring to be Motown artists. Dee Dee Bridgewater: I’m very grateful to Billie and to Ella, because those are the two women who have walked me to the Grammy podium. Josephine Reed: How did you first begin on Broadway? So, he brought everybody together, and then we all kind of worked out, you know, the arrangements. Dee Dee Bridgewater: Cecil Bridgewater, my first husband, we had just married in 1970. This sold-out gig at Ronnie Scott's was one of those rare, did-that-really-happen-or-am-I-dreaming evenings where performer and audience reciprocally move into some kind of magical, harmonious alignment. What music did you listen to when you were young, like, you know, 12—was it jazz? [1] Since 1999, she’s been a United Nations Ambassador for its Food and Agriculture Organization. Bridgewater has produced all her recordings since 1993 and has had her own label, DDB Records, since 2006. Dee Dee Bridgewater Concerts. Live at Yoshi's by Dee… Dee Dee Bridgewater. You know, it was NPR, and then I became a part of the NPR family. CD: $11.98 MP3: $8.99. Dee Dee Bridgewater: It was very difficult in the studio to get the two sides to come together, musically speaking. She is a three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, as well as a Tony Award-winning stage actress. I had gone to Paris with Sophisticated Ladies. So, I’ve uncovered a lot about my father that I didn’t know. I’ve fought long and hard to preserve my musical integrity, to garner respect in this male-dominated jazz world. Josephine Reed: That is 2017 NEA Jazz Master, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and this is Art Works, the weekly podcast produced at the National Endowment for the Arts. Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater has won two Grammy awards and a Tony for her work in jazz vocals and musical theater, respectively. She started out singing in school talent shows and with local jazz bands. Regardless, she shows no signs of slowing down. It was crazy. And there was a lot of lifting up of—of the young musicians. They relocated to Flint, Michigan, where Dee Dee lived until completing high school. She is a United Nations Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). And I was game. This 1980 release is produced by Thom Bell (the Spinners, the Stylistics) who buries Bridgewater's firery charms with the already-dated Philly sound and material that sounds like Spinners rejects. The festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. and the concert is free and open to the public. I’m the first and the only person who has translated these songs. I’d had this tuxedo suit made, and running up on stage, and getting the award, and coming off and promptly fainting. If you want to create your own style, that’s what you have to do. Where the—the little sliding window would open, and they’d see, and then they’d let you in. Josephine Reed: And you also got a lot from musicians, too, like Dizzy Gillespie. And I was 20, and I got hired. Memphis...Yes, I'm Ready. Josephine Reed: The Wiz also won the 1976 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album… Dee Dee subsequently appeared in several other stage productions. ARTIST: Dee Dee Bridgwater. Performed by Dee Dee Bridgewater from the cd Dear Ella. We moved to New York City, because that’s where we had to go for him, as a musician. Dee Dee Bridgewater was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Marion and Matthew Garrett. Free shipping on many items | Browse your favorite brands | affordable prices. Dee Dee Bridgewater: You know, but those two ladies—I don’t think I would be the individual that I am, had it not been for all of these amazing singers who came before me. Want to see Dee Dee Bridgewater in concert? Buy on Amazon, Apple Music, iTunes. She performed in Michigan during the '60s and toured the Soviet Union in 1969 with the University of Illinois Big Band. There’s like three things that he told me that I never forgot, and it’s just, like, my mantra, and I try to pass that on to young singers. I would always sit alone. You know, we’re—we’re breaking everything down, and we’ve got to get back into the city. During her time in Paris from 1986 to 2007, she starred in Stephen Stahl's musical Lady Day in Paris and London (for which she earned a Lawrence Olivier Award nomination), and continued to perform in musicals such as Black Ballad (with Archie Shepp) and Cabaret (being the first black actress to star as Sally Bowles) while concurrently performing and recording her jazz material. She could play the big church organs, and I had a couple of great-aunts who were in Vaudeville as dancers and singers, so it’s all on my—my father’s side. I did not want to be distracted. But I was the—the—the gap-bridger. And Clark was a ham. Jo Reed: I want to hear about how you started working with Thad Jones and—. $107.15. And then I found out, doing a television interview with Charles Lloyd last year in Switzerland, he and my father had a band together. And she’s also produced all her own recordings since 1993, and has had her own label since 2006. Bridgewater continues to tour nationally and internationally. “I never dreamed I would one day be named an NEA Jazz Master, as so few women hold this distinction. I’ve just been trying to be true to what I felt God put me on this earth for. What—what was your thoughts about this? Find information on all of Dee Dee Bridgewater’s upcoming concerts, tour dates and ticket information for 2021-2022. In 1970, she wed her first husband, trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater. I mean, it was Dizzy and Clark Terry. I was able to bring it together in person, you know, for live shows. It was a gig that she loved—and which provided some humorous moments…. That was my whole goal. You’re playing with Thad Jones/Mel Lewis. There was a station out of Memphis that I could catch late at night when most of the airwaves shut down. Dee Dee Bridgewater has a technique and musicality that bests most performers of her generation, and her understanding of the “great American songbook” makes pretenders pale in comparison. Josephine Reed: You ended up going to the Soviet Union at a very young age, as part of the jazz band at the University of Illinois. That orchestra and in particular, Thad Jones. Go to for details. My mom loved jazz singers, so when I was a baby, she swore—swore that I could scat before I could speak, because she was a huge fan of Ella Fitzgerald. Every year, I do at least one Ella Fitzgerald concert. And I remember we didn’t have enough money for a babysitter, so I’d take Tulani in her little—I had bought this stroller, and you could lift the bed out. Four months of, Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., revision every night from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., and then the next day. Bridgewater's career then took off and she soon performed and recorded with some of the giants of the music: Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, and Clark Terry. Bridgewater serves on the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz's Advisory Board where she has judged several jazz vocals competitions. Josephine Reed: By then, Dee Dee Bridgewater had returned to the United States, and she rededicated herself to jazz. Dee Dee Bridgewater is a daring performer of great depth whose singing talents have earned her three Grammy Awards as well as a Tony Award. Dee Dee Bridgewater: I’ve never had any formal music training. And my theatrical agent said, “There is no work for black actresses. So, entertainment is very important to me. She eventually took the play to London, but she opened it in Paris—performing in French…. Dee Dee Bridgewater: Betty Carter let me be—I called myself her puppy dog. I could hear the blues, like the Delta blues, in the griot songs. Get the best deals on dee dee bridgewater when you shop the largest online selection at Josephine Reed: You are a musician. Thanks for listening. And I guess he heard that. By Dee Dee Bridgewater, Irvin Mayfield, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (Official Music Video) 27. And the Sunshine Band/Dee Dee Bridgewater. So, George Coleman was a student of his, Harold Mabern, Charles Lloyd. Backed by a small group that includes an accordionist, Dee Dee sings several well known songs popular in France. Josephine Reed: That’s 2017 NEA Jazz Master, Dee Dee Bridgewater. And so, I could hear blues and R&B songs that I didn’t hear in Michigan. So, it inhibited me as an actress in terms of my being able to improvise. I am extremely proud to join the ranks of the women and the men. And then they would pick up those trumpets—they would be wicked. And I was the poster for Sophisticated Ladies in France, and it was a picture of me coming down the staircase. And so I was like oh, oh, I’m going to do it like this. I had never seen someone with that much freedom. I needed to understand what Betty Carter was doing. She is a natural performer. Josephine Reed: You had had no—no singing lessons. She started out singing in school talent shows and with local jazz bands. Thad Jones was my world. By Andrew Gans. It’s infused with Malian music and jazz and it’s—it’s your baby; it’s your project.