Dee Dee Bridgewater

Over the course of her multifaceted, 40-plus-year career, the Grammy and Tony Award-winning Dee Dee Bridgewater has risen to the top tier of today’s vocalists. She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 1970s she performed with such jazz notables as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1974 she broke into Broadway and earned a 1975 Tony Award for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz. Other theatrical credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Carmen Jazz, and Lady Day, for which she received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She also became the first African-American actress to play the role of Sally Bowles in Cabaret, staged at the Mogador Theatre in Paris. As a jazz recording artist, Bridgewater released a series of acclaimed titles beginning with Keeping Tradition in 1993. All but one of them, including her wildly successful double Grammy Award-winning tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dear Ella, have received Grammy nominations. In 2011 she earned her third Grammy for Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee, named Best Jazz Vocal Album. Her latest release, Midnight Sun, is a remastered compilation of love songs from her entire career. Bridgewater also hosts NPR’s award-winning weekly syndicated show, JazzSet, and is a Goodwill Ambassador to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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