With roots in Memphis and a fan base from Paris to New Orleans, multi-faceted singer Dee Dee Bridgewaterhas earned critical acclaim in every area of her career for over forty years. Bridgewater came into the jazz scene as the vocalist for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in the 1970s and released her first solo album “Afro Blue” in 1974. She has since successfully fulfilled the roles of singer-songwriter, producer, actress, educator, radio host, mentor, and touring musician. She continues to fights against world hunger as a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
In the earlier years of her career, she was fronting the bandstand with such jazz legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, and Dexter Gordon, even the eclectic Rahsaan Roland Kirk. But, her talents were not limited to jazz singing and she worked on Broadway in the Tony-award winning musical “The Wiz.” She played Glinda the Good Witch, a role that would bring her a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress. Her multiple stages roles included Billie Holiday in “Lady Day.” Bridgewater’s musical forays have ranged from classic American Jazz and French classical to African-themed music inspired by collaborations in Mali. Her albums, “Dear Ella” and “Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee” were not only tributes to the legends who preceded her, but both won her Grammy Awards. Her current release “Memphis…Yes I’m Ready” takes her back to her hometown roots. As one of the world’s favorite jazz singers, Dee Dee Bridgewater continues to make musical history.