Dee Dee Bridgewater & Memphis Soulphony
Germantown Performing Arts Center | Duncan-Williams Performance Hall
1801 Exeter Road
Germantown, TN 38138
Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, Memphis native and jazz giant Dee Dee Bridgewater has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists. She puts her unique spin on standards and takes intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. Ever the fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer, and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy winner 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. Her first professional experience was 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. Signing with the Universal Music Group as a producer (Bridgewater produces all of her CDs), Bridgewater released a series of critically acclaimed titles beginning with Keeping Tradition in 1993. All but one, including her wildly successful double-Grammy-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. She recently completed a run in the lead role of Billie Holiday in the Off-Broadway production of Lady Day, and her other theatrical credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen, Cabaret and the West End Productions of Lady Day, for which she received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.
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. She took on an extensive global tour in support of Dee Dee’s Feathers and was recently honored with a stage dedication in her name at the new People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market. In June of 2016, it was announced that Bridgewater was the recipient of an NEA Jazz Masters Fellows Award.