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Programmer Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater

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Born in Memphis and raised in the Midwest, host Dee Dee Bridgewater moved to New York and – as Glinda the Witch in The Wiz on Broadway – won a 1975 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. Monday nights, she sang jazz with the popular Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra downtown at the Village Vanguard. He' LP's from that era include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Just Family, and Bad for Me, about which a consumer reviewer wrote thirty years lat"r, "This upbeat disco album encapsulates all that was right about the Disco "ra."

In the 1980s, Bridgewater settled in Paris to perform in Sophisticated Ladies and Lady Day, a one-woman portrayal of Billie Holiday in French, which earned her a Sir Laurence Olivier Award nomination.

In 1995, her self-produce d CD Love and Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver brought Bridgewater's voice back to the United States. Dear Ella, dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald, won two Grammy Awards in 1998. Subsequently, Bridgewater has produced This Is New with music of Kurt Weill, and J'ai Deux Amours/Two Loves Have I. Her current self-produced, Grammy-nominated album, Red Earth – A Malian Journey, features Bridgewater with her trio, guest vocalists and a balaphon/kora/flute/percussion/vocal ensemble from the small west African nation she embraces as her ancestral home.

Bridgewater became the host of JazzSet in Oc tober 2001, on the retirement of the original host, saxophonist Branford Marsalis.