TheDee Dee Bridgewater Biography
Dee Dee Bridgewater is an American jazz singer. She is a United NationsGoodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization. For 23 years, she was the host of National Public Radio’s syndicated radio show JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater. She is also a three-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, as well as a Tony Award-winning stage actress.
Dee Dee Bridgewater Age
Bridgewater born Denise Eileen Garrett was born on May 27, 1950, in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. As of 2018, she is 68 years of age.
Dee Dee Bridgewater Family
Denise Eileen Garrett was born in Memphis, Tennessee to her father, Matthew Garrett. Her father was a jazz trumpeter and teacher at Manassas High School, and through his playing, she was exposed to jazz early on. She was raised as a Catholic in Flint, Michigan.
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 Michigan State University before she went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With the school’s jazz band, she toured the Soviet Union in 1969.
Dee Dee Bridgewater Husband
Currently, she is probably single though she has been married and divorced severally.
She is the mother to three children, Tulani Bridgewater (from her marriage to Cecil Bridgewater), China Moses (from her marriage to theater, film and television director Gilbert Moses) and Gabriel Durand (from her last marriage to French concert promoter Jean-Marie Durand).
Her eldest daughter, Tulani Bridgewater, attended the Mirman School for Gifted Children in Los Angeles, CA. She went on to graduate from the Ecole Active Bilingue in Paris, France at age 16, going on to graduate from Vassar College. Serves as Bridgewater’s manager under her firm Bridgewater Artists Management. Furthermore, she runs Bridgewater’s production company and record label (DDB Productions, Inc. And DDB Records).
Her second daughter China Moses is an accomplished singer, songwriter, producer, radio host and MTV VJ (France). Her critically acclaimed albums have earned her an international reputation as heir to Bridgewater’s legacy. Moses also tours worldwide, occasionally sharing the bill with her mother.
Dee Dee Bridgewater Career
After completing university, she met trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater. They got married and moved to New York City, where Cecil played in Horace Silver’s band. In the early 1970s, she joined the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra as lead vocalist. This marked the beginning of her jazz career.
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 solo album, entitled Afro Blue, appeared, and she performed on Broadway in the musical The Wiz.
In 1975, she won a Tony Award for her role as Glinda the Good Witch as “Best Featured Actress”, and the musical also won the 1976 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
Bridgewater subsequently appeared in several other stage productions. In 1984, after touring France with the musical Sophisticated Ladies, she moved to Paris in 1986. The same year, she got a role in Lady Day, as Billie Holiday, and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award. She also recorded the song “Precious Thing” with Ray Charles, featured on her album Victim of Love.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she returned from the world of Pop and Contemporary R’nB to Jazz. She performed at the Sanremo Music Festival in Italy and the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1990. 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.
Additionally, she performed also at the San Francisco Jazz Festival in 1996. 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. She again Performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1998.
Bridgewater has also explored on This Is New (2002) the songs of Kurt Weill, and, on her next album J’ai Deux Amours (2005), the French Classics.
In 2007, Red Earth was released. It features Africa-inspired themes and contributions by numerous musicians from Mali. Performed at the San Francisco Jazz Festival (2007).
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. She tours frequently, including overseas gigs around the world. Additionally, on October 16, 2009, she opened the Shanghai JZ Jazz Festival, in which she sang tunes associated with Ella Fitzgerald, along with Ellington compositions and other jazz standards.
As a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, she continues to appeal for international solidarity to finance global grassroots projects in the fight against world hunger. She also makes a concerted effort to mentor and nurture young artists. Bridgewater was awarded Honorary Doctorates from University of Michigan and Berklee College of Music.
In April 2017, she was the recipient of an NEA Jazz Masters Award with honors bestowed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2018, she got the 2018 Maria Fisher Founder’s Award by the Thelonious Monk/Hancock Institute of Jazz. She is currently on tour worldwide in support of her latest CD, “Memphis…Yes, I’m Ready”.
As An Actor
Dee Dee had appeared in films such as the 1979 film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh and the 1984 film The Brother from Another Planet. She has also made a guest appearance in the hit sitcom Benson and the hit sci-fi fantasy TV series Highlander: The Series.
Dee Dee Bridgewater Net Worth
She is a jazz singer and was also once a host for National Public Radio’s syndicated radio show JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater. Her primary source of income is as a singer. Her estimated net worth is Around $100K-1M (Approx.) though her exact annual salary is still under review.
Dee Dee Bridgewater Awards and Honors
- The First American to be inducted into the Haut Conseil de la Francophonie
- Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres Award (France)
- Tony Award, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, The Wiz, 1975
- Laurence Olivier Award Nomination, 1987
- AUDELCO Award, Outstanding Performance in a Musical-Female, LADY DAY, 2014
- ASCAP Foundation Champion Award, 2017
- Doris Duke Award, 2018.