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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. Ever the fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy-winner recently won the 2011 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.
Bridgewater’s career has always bridged musical genres. She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 70’s she performed with such jazz notables as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie. After a foray into the pop world during the 1980s, she relocated to Paris and began to turn her attention back to Jazz. Signing with the Universal Music Group as a producer (Bridgewater produces all of her CDs), Bridgewater released a series of critically-acclaimed titles beginning with Keeping Tradition in 1993. All but one, including her wildly successful double Grammy Award-winning tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dear Ella - have received Grammy nominations.
Bridgewater also pursued a parallel career in musical theater, winning a Tony Award for her role as “Glinda” in The Wiz in 1975. Currently starring in the lead role of Billie Holiday in the off-Broadway production of Lady Day, her other theatrical credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen, Cabaret and the West End Production of Lady Day, for which Bridgewater received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.
As a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Bridgewater
continues to appeal for international solidarity to finance global grassroots projects in the fight against world hunger. She is also in her 11th year of hosting NPR’s award-winning weekly syndicated show, JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater (WBGO).