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Dee Dee Bridgewater

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Biography

One of the best jazz singers of her generation, Dee Dee Bridgewater (who was married to trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater in the early '70s) had to move to France to find herself. She performed in Michigan during the '60s and toured the Soviet Union in 1969 with the University of Illinois Big Band. She sang with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis orchestra (1972-1974) and appeared in the Broadway musical The Wiz (1974-1976). Due to erratic records and a lack of direction, Bridgewater was largely overlooked in the jazz world by the time she moved to France in the '80s. She appeared in the show Lady Day and at European jazz festivals, and eventually formed her own backup group. By the late '80s, Bridgewater's Verve recordings were starting to alert American listeners as to her singing talents. Her 1995 Horace Silver tribute disc (Love and Peace) is a gem, and resulted in the singer extensively touring the U.S, reintroducing her to American audiences. She would find even more success with her tribute album, Dear Ella, which won a Grammy in 1997. This Is New, released in 2002, featured Bridgewater singing Kurt Weill songs, while 2005’s J’ai Deux Amours found her tackling French classics. For 2010’s Eleanora Fagan (1917-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee, Bridgewater moved from Verve to Decca/Emarcy, and offered her versions of several songs associated with Billie Holiday. She followed this in August 2011 with her sophomore effort for the label; a compilation collection of jazz standards entitled Midnight Sun, with tunes fom previously albums ranging from "Angel Eyes" to Horace Silver's "Lonely Woman," and included one cut, "L'Hymne a la Amour (J'ai Deux Amours)," which was released previously only in Japan.

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Birth Name:

Denise Eileen Garrett

Born:

27 May 1950 in Memphis, TN

Genre
Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Influencers

Contemporaries