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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ladies! Celebrating Amazing Women in the month of March & Beyond!




Today, the honor goes to the fabulously gifted, American jazz singer, three-time Grammy Award winning singer-songstress Dee Dee Bridgewater, as well as a Tony Award-winning stage actress and host of National Public Radio's syndicated radio show JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater. She is a United Nations Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization.

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.

In the early 1970s, Bridgewater joined the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra as the lead vocalist. 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

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. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she returned from the world of musical to jazz. She performed at 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.

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. 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.

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 tours frequently, including overseas gigs around the world. October 16, 2009 found her opening the Shanghai JZ Jazz Festival, in which Dee Dee tunes associated with Ella Fitzgerald, along with Ellington compositions and other jazz standards.

Bridgewater is mother to three children, Tulani Bridgewater, China Moses and Gabriel Durand.

Dee Dee Bridgewater you INSPIRE women everywhere to be their best! I celebrate your achievements & wish you continued success.~ JR Randle

Bio ~WIkipedia & DDB Productions, Inc. Website




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