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Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Dee Dee Bridgewater in concert with the Big Band of the Kölner Musikhochschule on July 7, 2006 in Cologne, Germany.
Background information
Birth name Denise Eileen Garrett
Born (1950-05-27) May 27, 1950
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Origin Flint, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Singer, Actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1966–present
Labels Verve, Elektra, MCA

Dee Dee Bridgewater (born May 27, 1950) is an Food and Agriculture Organization.


  • Biography 1
  • Family life 2
  • Selective awards and recognitions 3
    • Grammy history 3.1
    • Awards 3.2
  • Selective discography 4
    • Guest vocalist 4.1
  • References 5
  • External links 6


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 the Michigan State University before she went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With their 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 the lead vocalist.[1] 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 own album, entitled Afro Blue, appeared, and she also 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.

In concert in 1990
Herbie Hancock and Dee Dee Bridgewater giving a masterclass to musicians in Rabat, Morocco

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. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she returned from the world of musical 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 the West African nation of 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..[2] 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.

Family life

Bridgewater is 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 Chilren 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 and runs Bridgewater's production company and record label (DDB Productions, Inc. And DDB Records). Daughter China Moses is an accomplished singer 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.

Selective awards and recognitions

Grammy history

  • Career Wins: 3[3]
  • Career Nominations: 7
Year Category Title Genre Label Result
1989 Best Jazz Vocal Performance - Female Live in Paris Jazz MCA Nominee
1994 Best Jazz Vocal Performance Keeping Tradition Jazz Polygram Nominee
1996 Best Jazz Vocal Performance Love and Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver Jazz Verve Nominee
1998 Best Jazz Vocal Performance Dear Ella Jazz Verve Winner
1998 Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s) "Cotton Tail" from Dear Ella Jazz Verve Winner
2001 Best Jazz Vocal Album Live at Yoshi's Jazz Verve Nominee
2005 Jazz Vocal Album J'ai Deux Amours Jazz DDB Nominee
2007 Jazz Vocal Album Red Earth Jazz DDB Nominee
2010 Jazz Vocal Album Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee Bridgewater Jazz EmArcy Winner


Bridgewater is the first American to be inducted to the Haut Conseil de la Francophonie. She has received the Award of Arts and Letters in France. She also won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in The Wiz. Bridgewater is the recipient of the 2014 AUDELCO Award in the category of Outstanding Performance in a Musical-Female for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in the Off-Broadway bio-musical LADY DAY at the Little Shubert Theater.

Selective discography

Year Title Genre Label Billboard[4]
1974 Afro Blue Jazz Trio
1980 Dee Dee Bridgewater Disco Elektra
1977 Just Family Disco Elektra
1979 Bad for Me Disco Elektra
1989 Victim of Love Disco Polydor
1989 Live in Paris Jazz EmArcy
1992 In Montreux Jazz Verve
1993 Keeping Tradition Jazz Verve
1995 Love and Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver Jazz Verve 13
1997 Dear Ella Jazz Verve 5
2000 Live at Yoshi's Jazz Verve 20
2002 This Is New Jazz Verve 7
2005 J'ai deux amours Jazz DDB 16
2007 Red Earth Jazz DDB 23
2010 Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee Bridgewater Jazz EmArcy 19
2011 Midnight Sun (Compilation) Jazz EmArcy 20

2015 Dee Dee's Feathers Featuring Irvin Mayfield, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Guest vocalist


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness, page 547, (1995) - ISBN 1-56159-176-9
  2. ^ Kennedy Center: The Movie Music of Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard
  3. ^ Album Awards List
  4. ^ Billboard Artist Chart History: Dee Dee Bridgewater

External links

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