Dee Dee Bridgewater
Three-time Grammy Award winner. Recipient of Tony Award. World jazz ambassador embracing music from Africa, France and beyond… The one and only Dee Dee Bridgewater shares with you her love of jazz.
Who are your favorite jazz greats?
Many of my favorite jazz greats are trumpeters: Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thad Jones, Clark, Terry, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Roy Hargrove, Terrance Blanchard, Wallace Roney. Saxophone greats are Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath. Bass greats are Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius. Drummers are Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Billy Cobham, Billy Hart, Jimmy Cobbs, "Tootie" Heath, Terri-Lyne Carrington. Jazz Vocalists are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, Cassandra Wilson, Kurt Elling, Dianne Reeves. Jazz pianists are Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Hank Jones, Ahmad Jamal, Roland Hanna,
Why is it important for young people today to learn about jazz?
It is important for all young people to learn about jazz because jazz music has its origins in the United States of America. All youth should know the musical history of this music as it is a great contribution to the history of the country.
What is your most memorable jazz 'moment'?
I've had many memorable jazz 'moments' from my four-year stint as vocalist with the Thad Jones - Mel Lewis Orchestra, to working with many of our jazz legends from Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Pharoah Saunders, Rashaan Roland Kirk to Ray Charles, with whom I recorded a famous duet entitled "Precious Thing". I've had memorable moments with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, as well as Joe Zawinul.
Do you think that music (and jazz in particular) can promote peace and tolerance?
Yes all music forms, in particular jazz, can promote peace and tolerance. As a jazz 'ambassador' I travel the world, spreading the joy of jazz and its healing properties.
Why do you think a day like International Jazz Day is important?
It is important to have an "International Jazz Day" in order to recognize the importance of the music which has reached an incredible international scale. Jazz music is at the core of American history, which makes it of the utmost importance to have international recognition.
What is one action the public could do to promote Jazz Day or the values of jazz?
The public can go out to their local jazz clubs in support of Jazz Day. They can support their National Public Radio stations and other publicly-funded radio programs by making donations to help keep jazz on the airwaves.
Do you think jazz brings together people from different cultures? Can you give examples from your personal experience?
Of course jazz brings people together from different cultures. One has only to look at my recorded works to see the broad scope of musicians I've recorded with, the studios I've recorded in, to know that I am living evidence of such cultural diversity I've welcomed. I've worked with musicians from many European countries, especially France, as well as musicians from West Africa, mainly Mali. All of these experiences have left very indelible traces on my music, and have been extremely enriching.