Dee Dee Bridgewater Live in Concert

Continuing the Tradition of Live, World-class Jazz

KRTU brings vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater for a Spring Concert


Mark your calendar! KRTU 91.7 FM is proud to welcome jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater on Friday, March 26 at 8 p.m. to perform in Laurie Auditorium. As the eighth concert in a continuing KRTU tradition of bringing major jazz acts to San Antonio, Bridgewater's concert is certain to inspire with tradition, innovation and improvisation.


This tradition is founded on the idea that experiencing live jazz breathes extra life into an already vibrant music. Live concerts allow a musician to improvise for the audience, and witnessing improvisation always brings a new depth to jazz. Dee Dee Bridgewater comes to San Antonio to present her newest album, Eleanora Fagan (1917-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee, in which she pays tribute to the classic recordings of Billie Holiday. It will be a concert certain to include plenty of improvisation and imagination. The concert will feature material from the soon to be released album honoring the jazz icon, Billie Holiday, who died tragically at the age of 44 a half-century ago.


Over the course of a career that has spanned four decades, Bridgewater has risen to the top tier of today's jazz vocalists, putting her unique spin on standards as well as taking leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics.


"This album is my way of paying my respect to a vocalist who made it possible for singers like me to carve out a career for ourselves," Bridgewater. Bridgewater performed the role of Holiday in the triumphant theatrical production, Lady Day (based on the singer's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues), staged in Paris and London in 1986 and 1987. "I wanted Eleanora Fagan to be something different, more modern and a celebration, not a recording that goes dark and sullen and maudlin. I wanted the album to be joyful."


Bridgewater added that Eleanora Fagan goes far deeper than being a tribute album of retreaded classics. "Billie deserves to have her music heard in another light," she said, "and I definitely didn't set out to imitate her."


Bridgewater's longtime band mate and pianist Edsel Gomez is key to the new sound of the classic music. Gomez wrote new arrangements for the 12 songs on the album, including the African polyrhythmic-charged interpretation of "Lady Sings the Blues " and a re-harmonized version of "All of Me." Gomez also arranged a new gospel-tinged "God Bless the Child."


In her KRTU concert on March 26, the audience can expect to hear these numbers performed in the style of the album, with the added energy, nuance, and improvisation typical of Bridgewater's live performances.


Over the course of her career, she has paid homage to monumental figures of the music world, recording albums dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald (Dear Ella in 1997, winner of two Grammy Awards), Horace Silver (Grammy-nominated Love and Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver in 1995) and Kurt Weill (This Is New in 2002).  In all, Bridgewater's music and theater performances have earned her eight Grammy nominations, two Grammy Awards and a Tony Award.


But with Eleanora Fagan Bridgewater delivers one of the most remarkable recording performances of her career. "Dee Dee is a spirited dynamo and a soulful balladeer," says liner note writer Dan Ouellette. "She sings with a razor-edged voice; she scats with abandon; she makes you cry. She even chokes up herself upon descending into the ghoulish drama of 'Strange Fruit,' which serves as the album's poignant finale. She gives a moving read with a sparse arrangement supporting her."


Instead of playing it safe and recreating her stage performance from Lady Day, on Eleanora Fagan, Bridgewater reacquaints herself with Holiday, shining a new ray of love on the often misunderstood jazz icon. "I wanted the record to be a collection that would not be like the music of the original show," she says. That philosophy is in keeping with Bridgewater's approach to all of her projects: "I want to move forward, just as I've done with each of my albums.


            Eleanora Fagan (1917-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee will be released on February 2, 2010, and Bridgewater takes her album on tour with a stop at Trinity University's Laurie Auditorium on Friday, March 26, 2010. And don't forget to tune in to KRTU for the latest cuts on the album!


KRTU invites you to attend the concert to experience the thrill of seeing live jazz breathe extra life into an already vibrant music. Your favorite Billie Holiday classic is guaranteed to be a new experience on March 26, not only because of Bridgewater's new arrangements, but because each song will be unique as it is performed live. Expect different nuances to the cadence, the solos and the overall feeling of the song. We look forward to seeing you in the audience!


For more information, contact KRTU at (210) 999-8917.