Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Memphis Soulphony

Friday, August 2, 2019 at 8:00pm

"Nobody in jazz moves quite like Bridgewater, who doesn’t just reflect the twists and turns of the music with her self-styled choreography but embodies it." -Chicago Tribune
 
"Dee Dee Bridgewater has a technique and musicality that bests most performers of her generation, and her understanding of the "great American songbook" makes pretenders pale in comparison." -The Guardian
 
Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, three-time 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. With the Memphis Soulphony, Dee Dee completely steps away from jazz and dips into her roots singing sultry and soulful interpretations of the Memphis music she grew up with. 
 
"This is me coming back full circle in my life," Dee Dee Bridgewater told NPR right before this Tiny Desk performance (listen below). Ever since her teenage years, she's wanted to make her latest album, Memphis... Bridgewater is connecting openly with her roots, her birthplace and the town she's loved all her life.
 
Bridgewater’s career has always bridged musical genres. She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 70s 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 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.
 

 

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Dee Dee Bridgewater & Memphis Soulphony - Montclair Jazz Fest

Dee Dee Bridgewater: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert