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Portrait Photos 

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Dee Dee Bridgewater by Kimberly Wang

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Performance Photos 

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Biography 

Full Length

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.


A multi-hyphenate polymath and fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy-winner most recently won the 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 Lewis 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.


Bridgewater began self-producing with her 1993 album Keeping Tradition (Polydor/Verve) and created DDB Records in 2006 when she signed with the Universal Music Group as a producer (Bridgewater produces all of her own CDs). Releasing a series of critically-acclaimed CD's, 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. Having recently completed a run as 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 Off-Broadway and West End Productions of Lady Day, for which Bridgewater received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She also served as the namesake host of the long-running syndicated NPR radio program JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, produced by Becca Puliiam for WBGO.


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. In April 2017, she was the recipient of an NEA Jazz Masters Fellows Award with honors bestowed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In December 2017, Bridgewater was presented with the ASCAP Foundation Champions award acknowledging her charitable contributions. 


In 2018, Bridgewater received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award. 2019 brought her induction in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to music and in celebration of her latest CD, Memphis, Yes...I'm Ready. That same year, Bridgewater launched The Woodshed Network, a non-profit partnership with 651 Arts created to mentor, connect, support, and educate women in Jazz. Bridgewater serves as Artistic Director with lead support by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


2020 found Dee Dee hosting the first virtual NEA Jazz Masters Virtual Tribute Concert. Following the success of the event, in 2021, she again hosted the 2021 Jazz Masters Virtual Tribute Concert, this time alongside venerable actor Delroy Lindo. In 2022, Lindo again joined Bridgewater to host the inaugural Jazz Music Awards. In 2023, Bridgewater oversaw the 4th year of The Woodshed Network program and can be found touring worldwide with her Dee Dee Bridgewater Big Band, Quartet, and in duo with Grammy-winning pianist Bill Charlap.


More info at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.


www.DeeDeeBridgewater.com | Instagram & Facebook @DeeDeeBridgewater | Twitter @DDBProds
Wikipedia | AllMusic | IMDB

300 Words

Over the course of a multifaceted career, Grammy and Tony Award-winner Dee Dee Bridgewater has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists, uniquely spinning standards and taking intrepid leaps of faith re-envisioning jazz classics.  Fearless pioneer and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy-winner’s most recent win was for Best Jazz Vocal Album - Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.


Bridging genres, her first professional experience was as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band. Throughout the 70’s, she performed with jazz notables Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie, among others.


Bridgewater began self-producing with 1993’s release, Keeping Tradition (Polydor/Verve). In 2006, she created DDB Records in 2006 under a Producer/Distribution agreement with Universal Music Group - releasing critically-acclaimed albums, including Dear Ella, a double Grammy-winning tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.  She signed Theo Croker to DDB and released a project with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (Dee Dee’s Feathers), with Sony/OKeh - all to critical acclaim.


With a parallel career in musical theater, Bridgewater won a Tony Award for her role as “Glinda” in The Wiz (1975). Her other theatrical credits include, Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen, Cabaret. She revived her Laurence Olivier nominated role as Billie Holiday in Lady Day (West End and Off-Broadway) and recently appeared in the Anna Deveare-Smith penned Ella Broadway workshop. With film, television and soundtrack credits, Bridgewater is an accomplished entertainment “polymath.”


As a legacy Goodwill Ambassador to the UN FAO, Bridgewater champions global efforts in the fight against world hunger. A 2017 NEA Jazz Master, Bridgewater is an ASCAP Champion Awardee, Doris Duke Artist (2018), and Memphis Music Hall of Fame inductee (2019). She serves as co-Founder and co-Artistic Director of The Woodshed Network.


www.DeeDeeBridgewater.com | Instagram & Facebook @DeeDeeBridgewater | Twitter @DDBProds
Wikipedia | AllMusic | IMDB

150 Words

Over the course of a multifaceted career, Grammy and Tony Award-winner Dee Dee Bridgewater has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists. The three-time Grammy-winner’s most recent win was for Best Jazz Vocal Album - Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.


A member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, Bridgewater created DDB Records in 2006 in partnership with Universal Music Group. Her self-produced recordings, Dear Ella, Eleanora Fagan, and others have received multiple Grammy wins, nominations, and critical acclaim.


Pursuing a parallel career in musical theater, Bridgewater won a Tony Award for The Wiz. Other credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen, Cabaret and the Off-Broadway/West End productions of Lady Day, for which Bridgewater received an Olivier Award nomination.


She is a legacy Goodwill Ambassador (UN FAO), NEA Jazz Master, ASCAP Champion, Doris Duke Artist and Memphis Music Hall of Fame Inductee.


www.DeeDeeBridgewater.com | Instagram & Facebook @DeeDeeBridgewater | Twitter @DDBProds
Wikipedia | AllMusic | IMDB