The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation proudly presents the Grammy and Tony-award winning jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater as its Artist-in-Residence for the 2020 Detroit Jazz Festival.
As the 2020 Artist-in-Residence, Bridgewater will support Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation educational clinics for students and community engagements across the region throughout the year in addition to leading multiple diverse performances during Labor Day Weekend. However, the March 23 fundraiser at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café where Bridgewater was set to perform has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
“Dee Dee Bridgewater’s timeless voice, legendary career accomplishments and indomitable spirit are what makes her such a special selection for our Artist-in-Residence this year,” said Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. “We’re excited to have Dee Dee, a true and treasured jazz vocalist, headline what will be another exceptional showing of Detroit’s jazz gift to the world.”
Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, iconic 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. Ever the fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy winner most 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. She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 70’s she performed with such jazz notables as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie.
Bridgewater also pursued a parallel career in musical theater, winning a Tony Award for her role as “Glinda” in the The Wiz in 1975. She recently completed a run as the lead role of Billie Holiday in the off-Broadway production of Lady Day, for which Bridgewater received the British Laurence Olivier nomination for best actress in a musical. Her other theatrical credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad and Carmen.
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.
The Detroit Jazz Festival will be held in downtown Detroit on Sept. 4 – 7.