Ms. Bridgewater 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 the recently departed Frank Foster’s “Loud Minority.”
Ms. Bridgewater 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 tour de force portrayal of jazz legend Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl’s Lady Day.
Tune in from 11 PM to 1 AM EST on 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area to hear more about this extraordinary song stylist, actress and entertainer. You can also listen to the live stream from wbai.org. Also WBAI will offer a sneak preview of Ms. Bridgewater’s recording Midnight Sun, which is scheduled to release on August 23.