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Preview: Dee Dee Bridgewater at Ronnie Scott’s

Preview: Dee Dee Bridgewater
(Ronnie Scotts, Monday 14th to Friday 18th April. Monday to Thursday with her band- Friday night with the BBC Big Band. Preview by Fran Hardcastle.

When your father taught music to Charles Lloyd, and your debut gig was with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, you’re probably all set for a pretty good career.

Dee Dee Bridgewater has such a career. The singer and actress has on the shelf two Grammies, a Victoires de la Musique for Best Vocal Album and a Tony Award for her role as the Good Witch Glinda in The Wiz. Not to mention a Laurence Olivier nomination for Best Actress in A Musical for her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day.

She will be continuing her association with the music of Billie Holiday next week in the relatively intimate surroundings of Ronnie’s, performing material from her latest album Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love from Dee Dee. She last performed this at the Barbican Centre in April last year, to a standing ovation. See our review here

Whilst Bridgewater has previous experience performing the repertoire of legendary jazz singers – check out the fantastic album Dear Ella – her sound is all her own. She is a bold, at times raucous singer, confident to let loose her powerful voice. Her range is impressive and she uses it inventively – she can imitate the higher registers of a saxophone with ease. She is also an actress, so expect her delivery of ballads to be emotionally overwhelming, breath-catching stuff.

As a major concert venue performer, it’s rare to catch her in a club setting. There are still a handful of tickets left for the shows early in the week, so sell your mother, the children. Grab one.

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