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For immediate release
Monday, July 16, 2001

NPR: Laura Gross,
202-513-2304
lgross@npr.org



World Media: Sue Schardt
617-520-6861
schardt@mindspring.com


Award-Winning Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater Named New Host of NPR'S Jazzset

WASHINGTON, DC - Grammy and Tony award-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater has been named host of NPR's JazzSet, effective October 1, 2001. JazzSet, a weekly series produced by WBGO-FM in Newark, NJ and NPR, spotlights outstanding jazz performances from festivals, nightclubs and concert halls around the world. Airing on approximately 130 public radio stations nationwide, JazzSet is the recipient of a 2001 New York Festivals Gold Medal Award.

Bridgewater, who succeeds former host Branford Marsalis, will usher the show into its second decade of providing listeners with some of the best classic jazz music available on the radio.

Touted by the Village Voice as "the most capable jazz singer of her generation," Dee Dee Bridgewater is a consummate entertainer. Her credits include work in radio, film and theater. In 1997, the dynamic artist earned two Grammys for her self-produced Verve CD, Dear Ella, dedicated to singer Ella Fitzgerald. Her most recent CD, Live at Yoshi's (Verve), was also nominated for a 2000 Grammy for "Best Jazz Vocal album."

"Dee Dee Bridgewater is a dream come true," says Becca Pulliam, JazzSet producer at WBGO (88.3 FM, Newark, NJ). "Her musical standards, performing experience, wonderful radio voice, talent and energy will take us somewhere new. We are thrilled."

Bridgewater's inaugural season on JazzSet will feature performances by trumpeters Terence Blanchard and Wallace Roney, saxophonist Joe Lovano, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Maria Schneider Orchestra and singers Etta Jones, Cassandra Wilson and Jane Monheit, among others.

"I am ecstatic and honored that NPR and WBGO have welcomed me into their family," said Bridgewater. "Together we will strive to take JazzSet to an even higher level."

Bridgewater's resume includes work with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Ray Charles and McCoy Tyner. In the 1980's the singer hosted the weekly radio series, Le Jazz Club from Paris that was broadcast on many public radio stations. In addition to

her entertainment endeavors, Bridgewater is a humanitarian Ambassador to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The Memphis-born musician divides her time between France and Las Vegas.

JazzSet is distributed by NPR's Cultural Programming Division recipient of the year 2000 National Medal for the Arts. January 2002 will mark the program's tenth anniversary. JazzSet's Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe, III, JazzSet's Producer Becca Pulliam, and JazzSet's Technical Director Duke Markos, have been with the show since its inception. JazzSet's Associate producer is Monifa Carson. Funding for JazzSet is provided by the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds, The New York Times, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, NPR and its member stations and WBGO-88.3 FM in Newark, NJ. The Friends of Carnegie Hall support the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, heard exclusively on JazzSet. Sony Electronics, Inc., contributes towards the production, editing and archiving of JazzSet.

Renowned for its journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, NPR serves a growing audience of more than 16 million Americans each week via more than 630 public radio stations. NPR Onlinesm at www.npr.org brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.