Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Music Institute of Chicago Review - A warm welcome on a cold winter day!

It was cold. It was wet. It was miserable and it was threatening to get worse. Nevertheless, we all piled into the Music Institute of Chicago's Nichols Hall in Evanston hoping to be warmed by this three-time Grammy and Tony Award winner, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s, indomitable spirit.



We were not disappointed. She was hot and just a little naughty (there children in the audience, if you please). She was exuberant. She was everything we had hoped for and more! Our hearts were pounding, our toes were tapping, and we were smiling smugly: it was worth it! And we knew it immediately!


What is it? Is it a woman’s touch? Maybe, if a woman’s touch is gutsy, evocative, intense and with a wicked sense of humor, that’s it! Now add the positive, confident way Dee Dee sells (because she buys every sentiment in every song she interprets) every piece and you’ll have an idea what it was like to be at her concert.


DeeDee Bridgewater

Yes, the evening was billed as a tribute to Billie Holiday, but Dee Dee’s creativity, interactions with her adoring audience, as well as the extraordinary musicians from the Music Institute’s Jazz Studies program, brought an electric energy to the concert that was far from the literal take on Billie that we might have expected.


Since her remarkable New York debut in 1970, her early career has included concerts and recordings with such giants as Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, and Roland Kirk.


A charming Dee Dee Bridgewater

Aconsummate entertainer, Dee Dee received a Tony for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz and a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for her stunning achievement as Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl’s Lady Day in London. Performing roles in Sophisticated LadiesCosmopolitan GreetingsBlack BalladCarmen Jazz, and the musical Cabaret (the first black actress to star as Sally Bowles).For more information, here’s the Official Website for Jazz Icon Dee Dee Bridgewater:


Official Website for Jazz Icon Dee Dee Bridgewater.The Music Institute of Chicago is dedicated to transforming lives through music education. Founded in 1931, the Music Institute has grown to become one of the largest and most respected community music schools in the nation. Offering musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Pre-collegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS). Each year, the Music Institute’s teachers and arts therapists reach thousands of students and clients of all ages and levels of experience.


Music Institute locations include Chicago, Evanston, Winnetka, Lincolnshire, Lake Forest, and Downers Grove. In addition, the Music Institute is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Schools through its Arts Link program.


And more of Dee Dee Bridgewater

The Music Institute offers lessons and classes, and concerts through its Community School, Academy, and Nichols Concert Hall.

The Music Institute’s 2015–16 Faculty and Guest Artist Concert Series at Nichols Concert Hall continues with two concerts celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Music Institute’s Academy for gifted pre-college musicians, one in March and the other, featuring alumni Rachel Barton Pine and Matthew Lipman, May 14. For more information, go to the Music Institute of Chicago website,


For more information about this Triple Grammy® WinnerTONY® WinnerUN Goodwill AmbassadorProducer. Record Label HeadVocalist. Jazz Legend and Global Icon, visit Dee Dee Bridgewater’s website.

 Photos: Mark Higashino

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