Dee Dee Bridgewater
Dee Dee Bridgewater (née Denise Garrett, May 27, 1950) is an American jazz singer. She is a three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, as well as a Tony Award-winning stage actress. For 23 years, she was the host of National Public Radio's syndicated radio show JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater. She is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Dee Dee Bridgewater
|Birth name||Denise Eileen Garrett|
|Born||May 27, 1950|
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Origin||Memphis, TN & Flint, MI|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, Actress, Producer, Songwriter, UN Goodwill Ambassador, Radio Host|
|Labels||DDB Records, Sony Masterworks, OKeh Records, Verve, Elektra, MCA|
|Associated acts||Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rawlins, Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, Theo Croker, China Moses, Ray Charles, Stanley Clark, Sarah Vaughn, Max Roach, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock|
Born Denise Eileen Garrett in Memphis, Tennessee, she was raised Catholic in Flint, Michigan. Her father, Matthew Garrett, was a jazz trumpeter and teacher at Manassas High School, and through his playing, she was exposed to jazz early on. At the age of sixteen, she was a member of a Rock and Rhythm 'n' Blues trio, singing in clubs in Michigan. At 18, she studied at Michigan State University before she went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With the school's jazz band, she toured the Soviet Union in 1969.
The next year, she met trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, and after their marriage, they moved to New York City, where Cecil played in Horace Silver's band. In the early 1970s, Bridgewater joined the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra as lead vocalist. This marked the beginning of her jazz career, and she performed with many of the great jazz musicians of the time, such as Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and others. She performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1973. In 1974, her first solo album, entitled Afro Blue, appeared, and she performed on Broadway in the musical The Wiz. For her role as Glinda the Good Witch she won a Tony Award in 1975 as "Best Featured Actress", and the musical also won the 1976 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
She subsequently appeared in several other stage productions. After touring France in 1984 with the musical Sophisticated Ladies, she moved to Paris in 1986. The same year saw her in Lady Day, as Billie Holiday, for which role she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award, as well as recording the song "Precious Thing" with Ray Charles, featured on her album Victim of Love.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she returned from the world of Pop and Contemporary R'nB to Jazz. She performed at the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy and the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1990, and four years later, she finally collaborated with Horace Silver, whom she had long admired, and released the album Love and Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver. Performed also at the San Francisco Jazz Festival (1996). Her 1997 tribute album Dear Ella won her the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, and the 1998 album Live at Yoshi's was also worth a Grammy nomination. Performed again at the Monterey Jazz Festival (1998). She has also explored on This Is New (2002) the songs of Kurt Weill, and, on her next album J'ai Deux Amours (2005), the French Classics.
Her album Red Earth, released in 2007, features Africa-inspired themes and contributions by numerous musicians from Mali. Performed at the San Francisco Jazz Festival (2007). On December 8, 2007 she performed with the Terence Blanchard Quintet at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.. She tours frequently, including overseas gigs around the world. October 16, 2009 found her opening the Shanghai JZ Jazz Festival, in which she sang tunes associated with Ella Fitzgerald, along with Ellington compositions and other jazz standards.
As a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, Bridgewater continues to appeal for international solidarity to finance global grassroots projects in the fight against world hunger. Awarded Honorary Doctorates from University of Michigan and Berklee College of Music, Bridgewater makes a concerted effort to mentor and nurture young artists.
In April 2017, Bridgewater was the recipient of an NEA Jazz Masters Award with honors bestowed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and in 2018 was awarded the 2018 Maria Fisher Founder's Award by the Thelonious Monk/Hancock Institute of Jazz. She is currently on tour worldwide in support of her latest CD, “Memphis...Yes, I'm Ready”.
Dee Dee had appeared in such films as the 1979 film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh and the 1984 film The Brother from Another Planet. She has made a guest appearance in the hit sitcom Benson and the hit sci-fi fantasy TV series Highlander: The Series.
Bridgewater is the mother to three children, Tulani Bridgewater (from her marriage to Cecil Bridgewater), China Moses (from her marriage to theater, film and television director Gilbert Moses) and Gabriel Durand (from her last marriage to French concert promoter Jean-Marie Durand). Her eldest daughter, Tulani Bridgewater, attended the Mirman School for Gifted Children in Los Angeles, CA. She went on to graduate from the Ecole Active Bilingue in Paris, France at age 16, going on to graduate from Vassar College. She serves as Bridgewater's manager under her firm Bridgewater Artists Management and runs Bridgewater's production company and record label (DDB Productions, Inc. And DDB Records). Daughter China Moses is an accomplished singer, songwriter, producer, radio host and MTV VJ (France). Her critically acclaimed albums have earned her an international reputation as heir to Bridgewater's legacy. Moses tours worldwide, occasionally sharing the bill with Bridgewater.
Awards and HonorsEdit
- First American to be inducted into the Haut Conseil de la Francophonie
- Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Award (France)
- Tony Award, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, The Wiz, 1975
- Laurence Olivier Award Nomination, 1987
- AUDELCO Award, Outstanding Performance in a Musical-Female, LADY DAY, 2014
- ASCAP Foundation Champion Award, 2017
- Doris Duke Award, 2018
|1989||Best Jazz Vocal Performance||Live in Paris||Jazz||MCA||Nominee|
|1994||Best Jazz Vocal Performance||Keeping Tradition||Jazz||Polygram||Nominee|
|1996||Best Jazz Vocal Performance||Love and Peace||Jazz||Verve||Nominee|
|1998||Best Jazz Vocal Performance||Dear Ella||Jazz||Verve||Winner|
|1998||Best Instrumental Arrangement
|"Cotton Tail" from Dear Ella||Jazz||Verve||Winner|
|2001||Best Jazz Vocal Album||Live at Yoshi's||Jazz||Verve||Nominee|
|2005||Best Jazz Vocal Album||J'ai Deux Amours||Jazz||DDB Records
|2007||Best Jazz Vocal Album||Red Earth||Jazz||DDB Records||Nominee|
|2010||Best Jazz Vocal Album||Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959)||Jazz||EmArcy||Winner|
|1976||Dee Dee Bridgewater||Disco||Atlantic|
|1979||Bad for Me||Disco||Elektra||182|
|1980||Dee Dee Bridgewater||Disco||Elektra|
|1987||Live in Paris||Jazz||EmArcy|
|1989||Victim of Love||Disco||Polydor|
|1995||Love and Peace:||Jazz||Verve||13|
|2000||Live at Yoshi's||Jazz||Verve||20|
|2002||This Is New||Jazz||Verve||7|
|2005||J'ai Deux Amours||Jazz||DDB Records||16||14|
|2007||Red Earth: A Malian Journey||Jazz||DDB Records||23||1|
|2010||Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959):||Jazz||EmArcy||19|
|2011||Midnight Sun (Compilation)||Jazz||EmArcy||20|
|2015||Dee Dee's Feathers||Jazz||Sony Masterworks||1|
|2017||Memphis... Yes, I'm Ready||Soul, R&B||Sony Masterworks||2|
- Frank Foster – The Loud Minority (Mainstream, 1972)
- Stanley Clarke - Children of Forever (Polydor, 1973)
- Roy Ayers – Coffy (Polydor, 1973) – as Denise Bridgewater
- Buddy Terry – Lean on Him (Mainstream, 1973)
- Norman Connors – Love from the Sun (Buddah, 1974)
- Cecil McBee – Mutima (Strata-East, 1974)
- Charles Sullivan – Genesis (Strata-East, 1974)
- Carlos Garnett - Black Love (Muse, 1974)
- Stanley Clarke – I Wanna Play for You (Nemperor, 1979)
- Hollywood Bowl Orchestra – Prelude to a Kiss - The Duke Ellington Album (Philips Classics, 1996)
- BWB – Groovin' (Warner Bros., 2002)
- Christian McBride – Conversations with Christian (Mack Avenue, 2011)
- "JazzSet Signs Off". Npr.org. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- "FAO Ambassabors Programme". www.fao.org. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- Thomas, Jo (September 22, 1998). "A Singer Is Returning to a Stage Where It All Began". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness, page 547, (1995) – ISBN 1-56159-176-9
- "The Wiz Broadway @ Majestic Theatre - Tickets and Discounts". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- "Kennedy Center: The Movie Music of Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard". Kennedy-center.org. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- "Review 2009 | Shanghai JZ Festival Official Website". www.jzmg.net. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- News, UM-Flint (2012-10-23). "International Jazz Performer to Receive Honorary Degree at UM-Flint Commencement". UM-Flint NOW. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- "Julio Iglesias, Doug Morris, Harvey Mason, Dee Dee Bridgewater to Receive Honorary Degrees | Berklee College of Music". www.berklee.edu. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- "Dee Dee Bridgewater". NEA. 2016-06-07. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- "Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical", Wikipedia, 2019-04-07, retrieved 2019-04-10
- "2014 Winners | Audience Development Committee, Inc". Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- "Dee Dee Bridgewater Earns Prestigious ASCAP Honor". GRAMMY.com. 2017-10-06. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
- "Dee Dee Bridgewater". Billboard.com. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- "JazzWeek", Wikipedia, 2017-07-27, retrieved 2019-04-11
- Russonello, Giovanni (2017-11-23). "Dee Dee Bridgewater Throws Herself a Memphis Soul Party". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-10.