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Information Hours: 11 AM -6 PM Tue-Fri and beginning 2 hours before showtime through intermission.

17 W Congress
Tucson, AZ. 85701
U. S.

(520)547-3040

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Tucson Jazz Festival: Dee Dee Bridgewater


Dee Dee Bridgewater with opening act the TJI Ellington Band and Lewis Nash

Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, Grammy and Tony Award-winning 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 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. After a foray into the pop world during the 1980s, she relocated to Paris and began to turn her attention back to Jazz. Signing with the Universal Music Group as a producer (Bridgewater produces all of her CDs), Bridgewater released a series of critically-acclaimed titles beginning with Keeping Tradition in 1993. All but one, including her wildly successful double Grammy Award-winning tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dear Ella - have received Grammy nominations.

Bridgewater also pursued a parallel career in musical theater, winning a Tony Award for her role as “Glinda” in The Wiz in 1975. Having recently completed a run as the lead role of Billie Holiday in the off-Broadway production of Lady Day,  her other theatrical credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen, Cabaret and the Off-Broadway and West End Productions of  Lady Day, for which Bridgewater received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. 

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. She is currently on tour in support of “Dee Dee’s Feathers,” her new CD with Irvin Mayfield and The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and was recently honored with a stage dedication in her name at the new Jazz Marketplace in New Orleans. In June of this year it was announced that Bridgewater is the recipient of an NEA Jazz Masters Fellows Award with honors to be bestowed at the Kennedy Center in April 2017.

Lewis Nash, drummer, is the drummer of choice for an incredible array of artists from the masters of the music to the hottest young players of today; he is equally in demand as a clinician and educator. “Rhythm Is My Business” is the title of his debut recording as a leader, and rhythm is a booming business as far as Lewis is concerned. Currently, while he continues to perform and record with a wide variety of artists, Lewis leads several of his own exciting groups, from duo to septet. Outside of his many touring and recording accomplishments, thanks to the sponsorship of Sonor drums, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads and Regal Tip drumsticks, Lewis has become a sought after jazz educator. His lectures, clinics and workshops are as much in demand as his bandstand and studio work. Lewis Nash: Rhythm is indeed his business!

Website: www.lewisnash.com

Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band, directed by Doug Tidaback, comprises high school musicians from southern Arizona who study at this award-winning community music school. This big band (one of six at the TJI), loved for their swinging, diverse and energetic big band sounds, was the #1 High School Big Band winner two years in a row (2013 and 2014) of the prestigious national Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington Competition presided over by Wynton Marsalis. They were in the top three in 2015 and 2016. Other recent awards include first place in the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival (2012) earning them a spot to perform at the festival and they were named the Best Community Jazz Band in the 35th Annual Student Music Awards in DownBeat magazine in 2012 and 2013. Their alumni attend some of the most prestigious schools in the nation (many on scholarship) including Julliard, the Manhattan School of Music, The New England Conservatory, Princeton, USC and Swarthmore and have gone on to major careers in jazz music.

Video: Essentially Ellington 2016:“Old King Dooji”
Website: www.tucsonjazzinstitute.com
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