Dee Dee Bridgewater
Word to the wise music fan: Stay to the end, when headliner Dee Dee Bridgewater and her Quintet take the stage. In a review of a recent performance, the Chicago Tribunecited her "enormous voice and outsized persona," and said she "can shift from the sensual to the sacred at a moment's notice." In other words, the woman puts on a show.
Maybe that's because singing isn't the only trick in her bag. Sure, she's a three-time GRAMMY Award winner and a newly minted NEA Jazz Master-one of only 19 women ever to have received that lifetime achievement honor - but Bridgewater is also an actress (her Glinda the Good Witch in "The Wiz" won her a Tony). And host of NPR's syndicated radio showJazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater from 2001 to 2014, she put a national mic to the music she loves.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Detroit, Bridgewater made her New York debut when she was still in her twenties, as lead vocalist with the Thad Jones and Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. She's performed with many of the top players in jazz: Sonny Rollins,Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and others.
Bridgewater's schedule still includes ample touring around the world, as well as recording, most recently "Dee Dee's Feathers," with New Orleans trumpeter and bandleader Irvin Mayfield, a tribute to that city on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
BAND LINE UP
Dee Dee Bridgewater - Vocals
Theo Croker - Trumpet
Anthony Ware - Saxophone
Michael King - Piano and Organ
Eric Wheeler - Bass
Kassa Overall - Drums
It's not often you get to hear a consummate player whose bandmates have included the likes of Max Roach, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Smith, Ron Carter, B.B. King, Harold Mabern...which is one reason we're beyond honored to bring NEA Jazz Master and saxophone titan George Coleman to the Montclair Jazz Festival!
Raised in Memphis--his classmates there included Hank Crawford and Charles Lloyd-- this tenor saxophonist has been ruling jazz stages and studios since the he moved in the 1950s to Chicago, where he ultimately joined Max Roach's group. Relocating to New York soon after, he joined Miles's quintet in 1963, and recorded six albums with the group that also included Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, and Ron Carter.
Now living in Jersey City and active as a jazz educator, Coleman received an NEA Jazz Master designation in 2015. Come to Nishuane Park on August 13and hear for yourself the man Miles Davis called "a hell of a musician."
BAND LINE UP
George Coleman - Tenor Saxophone
Yotam Silberstein - Guitar
Mike LeDonne - Organ
George Coleman, Jr. - Drums
A Christian McBride Situation
What, exactly, is A Christian McBride Situation
? "It started in 2007, when a couple of guys in my band had to pull out two weeks before we were supposed to be headlining the Monterey Jazz Festival," answers the multi-Grammy winning McBride, a Montclair resident and artistic director of the Montclair Jazz Festival. "Uh oh," he recalls his tour manager saying. "Looks like we have a Christian McBride situation."
Christian liked the sound of that. Loathe to hire replacements to quickly rehearse his group's music, he decided instead to pull together a sort of pop-up band-"A Christian McBride Situation"-from the deep pool of talent that was already going to be at the festival: people like pianist Patrice Rushen and DJ Logic handling percussion duty on the turntable.
"Ever since, when I want to do an electric, experimental kind of thing, that's what I call it," he says. Over the years, the fluid line-up has included artists as far-ranging as keyboardist Jason Lindner and former James Brown horn player, Fred Wesley. Gradually, a core group has coalesced that will head into the studio in December to record its first album.
But first, Christian's bringing A Situation to Nishuane Park, with Situation core members DJ Logic and saxophonist Ron Blake, and a special guest, famed funk drummer Bernard Purdie. So what's the music like? "Telling people what they're going to hear takes the fun out of it," Christian answers. "Whatever it is, it's gonna be funky. You can't help but dance with Bernard Purdie!"