Jazz Great Dee Dee Bridgewater at Tsai Tonight

Jazz great Dee Dee Bridgewater performs a free concert with the Boston University Faculty/Alumni Jazz combo tonight at the Tsai Performance Center, part of a celebration of African American music. Dee Dee Bridgewater is best known as an innovative jazz vocalist, but she is much more: a Tony Award winner for her performance as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz, a three-time Grammy winner, host of a syndicated National Public Radio program, a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Goodwill Ambassador, and a spokesperson for women's reproductive rights.

Bridgewater will perform a free concert tonight at the Tsai Performance Center with the BU Faculty/Alumni Jazz Combo, a highlight of the international conference African-American Music in World Culture: Art as Refuge and Strength in the Struggle for Freedom, which is celebrating African American music. The concert is hosted by BU's African American Studies Program and the BU Arts Initiative. The four-day conference runs through March 22. Bridgewater will also conduct a master class for vocalists.

A consummate artist and daughter of a jazz trumpeter, Bridgewater has performed with a string of jazz greats, including Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, and Max Roach, and has recorded tributes to Horace Silver and Billie Holiday. She won the 2011 Grammy Award—her third—for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Eleanora Fagan (1915–1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee Bridgewater. The recording follows her recent off-Broadway stint as Holiday in Lady Day, the Billie Holiday Musical, which prompted a New York Times critic to admit to being "seduced into a state of bliss." In 2007 she recorded the Grammy-nominated studio album Rare Earth, a collaboration with musicians in Mali that celebrates her African ancestry.

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