About JazzSet

NPR's JazzSet© with Dee Dee Bridgewater is the jazz lover's ears and eyes on the world of live music. It presents today's best jazz artists in performance on stages around the world, taking listeners to Puerto Rico and Cuba, as well as Marciac in the French countryside and across the North American continent from Montreal to Monterey.

Closer to home -- Jazz 88.3, WBGO-FM in Newark, New Jersey -- the program drops in on nightclubs and neighborhoods where people are playing quality jazz to appreciative audiences. Some of the artists appearing on JazzSet stage include Herbie Hancock, Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, and Shirley Horn.

JazzSet has received three distinguished awards: the New York Festivals Gold Medal (1997) and New York AIR Award (in both 1998 and 1999). To find out if you can hear JazzSet in your area, check our station carriage list.

Host Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater  

Only a handful of entertainers have ever commanded such depth of artistry in every medium. Fewer still have won a Tony, two Grammy®s, and the top musical honor in France -- the Victoire de la Musique -- plus been nominated for London theater's Laurence Oliver Award. Dee Dee captured the hearts of audiences worldwide in The Wiz with her signature song, "If You Believe." Nick Ashford of Ashford and Simpson said Dee Dee's rendition "personified a generation and gave us all hope."

As a sparkling ambassador for jazz, she bathed in its music before she could walk. Her mother played the greatest albums of Ella Fitzgerald, whose artistry provided an inspiration for Dee Dee throughout her career. Her father was a trumpeter who taught music to Booker Little, Charles Lloyd and George Coleman, among others. It's the kind of background that leaves its mark on an adolescent, especially one who appeared solo and with a trio as soon as she was able.

Dee Dee's other vocation, that of globetrotter, reared its head when she toured the Soviet Union in 1969 with the University of Illinois Big Band. A year later, she followed her then husband, Cecil Bridgewater, to New York.

Dee Dee made her phenomenal New York debut in 1970 as the lead vocalist for the band led by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, one of the premier jazz orchestras of the time. These New York years marked an early career in concerts and on recordings with such giants as Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach and Roland Kirk, and rich experiences with Norman Connors, Stanley Clarke and Frank Foster's Loud Minority.

This is New: The Latest Dee Dee CD!
JazzSet is proud to announce the worldwide release of Dee Dee's new album, This is New (Verve). The disc celebrates the music of German composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950).

Browse the JazzSet Web feature on This is New

Dee Dee doesn't care much for labels, and in 1974 she jumped at the chance to act and sing on Broadway where her voice, beauty and stage presence won her great success and a Tony Award for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz. This began a long line of awards and accolades as well as opportunities to work in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Paris and in London where she garnered the coveted Laurence Olivier Award nomination as Best Actress for her portrayal of jazz legend Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl's Lady Day.

Performing the lead in equally demanding acting/singing roles as Sophisticated Ladies, Cosmopolitan Greetings, Black Ballad, Carmen Jazz and the musical Cabaret (as the first black actress to star as Sally Bowles), she secured her reputation as a consummate entertainer.


Named Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in October 1999, Dee Dee joined the battle against world hunger. Appealing for international solidarity to finance global grassroots projects, the FAO's Ambassadors aid in developing self-reliance in long-term conservation and management of sustainable agriculture, rural development and the conservation and management of natural resources.


This is New (2002 Verve #3145196072)
Dee Dee's latest! Rleased worldwide on August 6, 2002.

Browse our online feature on This is New

Live at Yoshi's
(2000 Verve #3145433542)
Dee Dee's fourth outing as producer on the Universal/Verve Group label. Recorded at the renowned Northern California jazz club in April of 1998, this disc captures the dynamic and often theatrical essence of her "live" performance. Dee Dee has taken a California club and turned it into a space for euphoria, freedom, exchange and surprise.
-- Dan Ouellette

Dear Ella
(1997 Verve #3145378962)
Dear Ella is Bridgewater's double Grammy® Award-winning tribute to her legendary inspiration, twelve songs with the profound imprint of 'The First Lady of Jazz,' Ella Fitzgerald. The Kenny Burrell composition that gives the recording its title, "Dear Ella," features Dee Dee in a duet with Kenny Burrell on guitar, a structure Ella especially enjoyed and used, particularly with Joe Pass.
-- Claude Carriere

Love and Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver
(1994 Verve #3145274702)
A tribute to the great pianist and bband leader this album fulfilled Dee Dee's dream to sing Silver's compositions one day. It was a personal milestone celebrated in performance night after night on stages around the world, from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Olympia Theatre in Paris, where Dee Dee brought audience to their feet in thunderous applause. The album was crowned by a Grammy® nomination.

Keeping Tradition (1992 Verve #3145196072)
This album was devoted to the reinterpretation of classic standards, with a superb new approach that showed tremendous creativity, imagination and passion on the part of Dee Dee and her trio. The album was rewarded in 1994 with France's Django d'Or Award and Dee Dee's second Grammy® nomination.


Ain't Misbehavin'
Montreal 1998

Carmen Jazz
Vienne, France 1998, as Carmen

Paris 1995, as Sally Bowles

Black Ballad
Paris 1991

Cosmopolitan Greetings
Hamburg 1988

Lady Day
Paris and London 1986-87, as Billie Holiday

Sophisticated Ladies
US National Tour/Japan/Paris 1983-84, Starring Role

Sophisticated Ladies
Los Angeles 1982, Starring Role

The 1940s Radio Hour
New York on Broadway/Florida 1979, as Geneva Lee Brown

The Wiz
New York on Broadway, Los Angeles, San Francisco 1974-77, as Glinda, Good Witch of the South


The Brother From Another Planet (1984)
Directed by John Sayles

The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (1979)
Directed by Gilbert Moses


National Public Radio 2001-present

Europe2: France 1990

Le Jazz Club From Paris
National Public Radio 1989-1992


GRAMMY® Award Nomination 2001
Best Jazz Vocal Album: Live at Yoshi's

GRAMMY® Award 1998
Best Jazz Vocal Album: Dear Ella

GRAMMY® Award 1998
Best Arrangement for Vocal (arranged by Slide Hampton): "Cottontail" from Dear Ella

Victoires de la Musique (France) 1998
Best Jazz Vocal Album: Dear Ella

Echo Award Nomination (Germany) 1998
Best Jazz Album: Dear Ella

Gavin Report 1995
Best Jazz Vocal Album: Love and Peace

Swing Journal 1995
Best Jazz Vocal Album
Love and Peace

Jazz Academy Awards (France) 1995
Billie Holiday Award for Best Jazz Vocal: Love and Peace

Jazzman Magazine (France) 1995
Choc de L'Année: Love and Peace

GRAMMY® Award Nomination 1996
Best Jazz Vocal: Love and Peace

Django D'Or (France) 1994
Keeping Tradition

GRAMMY® Award Nomination 1994
Best Jazz Vocal: Keeping Tradition

Jazz Academy Awards (France) 1995
Billie Holiday Award for Best Jazz Vocal: Live in Paris

GRAMMY® Award Nomination 1991
Best Jazz Vocal: Live in Paris

Laurence Olivier Award Nomination (England) 1987
Best Actress in a Musical: Lady Day

Tony Award 1975
Best Featured Actress in a Musical: The Wiz


Official Dee Dee Bridgewater Web Site

UN Food and Agriculture Organization Dee Dee Web page