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Duke Jazz Talk featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 8 p.m.


Appearing in May as part of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Duke Jazz Talks is Dee Dee Bridgewater, in discussion about her life and work with Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum. Following the dialogue, there will be a brief performance. Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater made her New York debut in 1970 with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, and then went on to capture everyone’s heart (and a Tony for Best Featured Actress) as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz. She has worked with such jazz greats as Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, and Roland Kirk, while solidifying her theater reputation by taking on such roles as jazz legend Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl’s Lady Day and becoming the first black actress to play Sally Bowles in Cabaret. You can hear her now on NPR's JazzSet where she continues to spread her love of jazz to listeners while highlighting live jazz music around the world. I can recall first hearing Dee Dee Bridgewater as a vocal jazz nut in high school. Her hit album Dear Ella came at a time when I was imagining making such a record devoted to the First Lady of Song. I was sixteen and JEALOUS. Even at sixteen I begged the question: how could anyone get near Ella?? But she did. Dee Dee Bridgewater managed to channel Ella in such a way that earned her two GRAMMYs and the invaluable recognition for being able to capture what we all felt as we closed our eyes listening to Fitzgerald. Bridgewater's ability to go from playful to sultry to swingin' is impeccable - this ability to emote and become whatever song she is performing probably made it all that easier to exist within the jazz and theater worlds simultaneously. Please join us in creating another invaluable piece of history. Choose to take an active role in preserving and protecting our experiences. Be a part of making extraordinary life stories accessible to someone who may never know the feeling of singing live with a big band booming from behind or the electricity of the curtain opening to reveal a sold-out crowd. Better yet, be a part of supporting access to the information that will lead to realizing previously intangible dreams. Duke Jazz Talks are part of the two-year Library for the Performing Arts’ project funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to present, document, and preserve jazz, contemporary dance, and theater performances and related oral histories. The program will be held on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in the Bruno Walter Auditorium at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, 111 Amsterdam Avenue @ 65th Street. There is an admission charge of $10 or $5 for students for the programs. For ticket reservations, please call 212.870.1793, or to charge by phone, call 212-245-5440. We also accept TDF vouchers for this event. Until then, enjoy this clip of Bridgewater singing Bye Bye Blackbird with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra in Japan: And I cannot help but want to share this collaboration (again, JEALOUS) with one of my dear favorites, Mr. Ray Charles, on Precious Thing:


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Dee Dee Bridgewater appears

Dee Dee Bridgewater appears as a lead in Robert Wilson's 'jazz opera' Cosmopolitan Greetings! This performance can be viewed in the Library for the Performing Arts' Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (NCOV 3039).

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