NPR's JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Sundays 9pm - 10pm
Dee Dee Bridgewater

Noted vocalist and stage performer Dee Dee Bridgewater has hosted NPR's JazzSet since October 2001. Each week Bridgewater takes listeners on a one-hour trip to concert halls, clubs, and festivals around the country to experience the vitality of today's best jazz performances. JazzSet is produced by WBGO 88.3 FM/Newark, New Jersey.

Born in Memphis and raised in Flint, Michigan, Bridgewater moved to New York early in her career and found fast success. Her performance as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz on Broadway, Bridgewater won a 1975 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. While in New York, she sang jazz every Monday night with the popular Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra downtown at the Village Vanguard. Her LP's from that era include Dee Dee Bridgewater, Just Family and Bad for Me, about which a consumer reviewer wrote 30 years later, "This upbeat disco album encapsulates all that was right about the Disco Era."

In the 1980s, Bridgewater settled in Paris. Her performance in Sophisticated Ladies and Lady Day, a one-woman portrayal of Billie Holiday in French, earned her a Sir Laurence Olivier Award nomination.

Bridgewater's self-produced CD, Love and Peace: A Tribute to Horace Silver, which was released in 1995, brought her voice back to the United States. Her next album, Dear Ella, dedicated to Ella Fitzgerald, earned her two Grammy Awards in 1998. Subsequently, Bridgewater produced This Is New with music of Kurt Weill and J'ai Deux Amours/Two Loves Have I.

Blues and griot songs came together on her Grammy-nominated 2007 release, Red Earth - A Malian Journey. This album features Bridgewater with her trio; guest vocalists; and a balaphon, kora, flute, percussion and vocal ensemble from West Africa.

Her 2010 release, Eleanora Fagan 1915-1959: To Billie with Love from Dee Dee Bridgewater is more personal. "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," says Bridgewater. With music from the Billie Holiday songbook, Bridgewater's style ranges from an upbeat, rhythm-strong "Lady Sings the Blues" to the stark ballad of an American lynching, "Strange Fruit."

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11:55pm

Thu June 7, 2012
JazzSet

Sean Jones, Jeff 'Tain' Watts On JazzSet

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:32 am

Sean Jones performs at the Detroit Jazz Festival.
Jeff Forman

Ohio-born trumpeter Sean Jones played lead for approximately five years with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis was a member of Sean's section. When was asked what he learned from Marsalis, Jones answered in two words: "work ethic."

Now 35-year-old Sean Jones is touring with the Marcus Miller group, an Associate Professor at Duquesne University and Oberlin Conservatory, Interim Artistic Director for the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and leading his group in Detroit with music from his album No Need for Words.

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1:32pm

Thu May 31, 2012
JazzSet

Russell Malone Trio On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:11 pm

Russell Malone (left) and Tassili Bond perform at the Kennedy Center.
Mark Schramm WBGO

Named the JJA Guitarist of the Year in June 2011, Russell Malone hails from Albany, Geo. Malone grew up absorbing music from his bedrock, the church, as well as popular blues and country tunes on radio and TV. For his golden-toned melodies played in octaves (try that some time!) and more, Malone is heavily influenced by Wes Montgomery.

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11:28am

Thu May 24, 2012
JazzSet

Alexis Cuadrado's 'A Lorca Soundscape' On JazzSet

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 3:07 pm

Alexis Cuadrado sets surrealist Spanish poems to music in a concert at 92Y Tribeca.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

It began with the crisis on Wall Street in 2008. Alexis Cuadrado, from Barcelona and now Brooklyn, remembered the poetry of the surrealist Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936), whom all Spanish students study in school.

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11:24am

Thu May 10, 2012
JazzSet

'Miles Davis And Gil Evans: Still Ahead' On JazzSet

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 12:26 pm

Terence Blanchard plays the role of Miles Davis' trumpet with commitment and emotion at Monterey.
Cole Thompson

Gil Evans was born on May 13, 1912. In three collaborations in the late 1950s, he and his friend and Miles Davis steered their projects into a new era for jazz.

Their first album was Miles Ahead. This Monterey Jazz Festival concert is called "Still Ahead," with music from the pair's second and third records, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain.

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10:38am

Thu April 26, 2012
JazzSet

Toots Thielemans On JazzSet, With Kenny Werner

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:39 am

Toots Thielemans.

Jos Knaepen

More than 90 years ago, on April 29, 1922, Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans was born in Brussels. An organization formed to celebrate his landmark birthday, TOOTS90 is presenting a series of eight concerts, featuring Thielemans' quartet and special guests Kenny Werner on piano and Oscar Castro-Neves and Philip Catherine on guitar. All take place in Belgium, tracing a route from Antwerp to Gent, Brussels, Hasselt, Brugge, Liège and Dinant.

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3:46pm

Thu April 19, 2012
JazzSet

Martin Bejerano Trio On JazzSet

Martin Bejerano.
Steven Vlasic

Martin Bejerano received a Chamber Music America commission to compose a New Jazz Work in the summer of 2010. He had proposed a long-form composition that would show how — in the tradition of Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Oscar Peterson — Bejerano could put forth an energetic sound for his own trio, without just playing fast and loud.

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3:04pm

Thu April 12, 2012
JazzSet

James Farm On JazzSet

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:35 am

James Farm, left to right: Matt Penman, Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Eric Harland.
Jimmy Katz

When Joshua Redman plays Boston, it's a homecoming. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University and quickly won the 1991 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. Warner Brothers signed him to make a string of successful albums.

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10:59am

Fri April 6, 2012
JazzSet

Juan-Carlos Formell On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 1:12 pm

Juan-Carlos Formell and Johnny's Dream Club at the 2011 Monterey Jazz Festival.
Cole Thompson Monterey Jazz Festival

Juan-Carlos Formell participated in a multi-artist showcase at SOB's — home to Brazilian and Latin music in New York — a few years ago. Between a couple of amped-up bands, he took the stage alone (as I recall) and sang in Spanish, accompanying himself on guitar. His voice had urgency to it, and there was an irresistible engine inside that guitar. Ever since, I've wanted to hear and know more.

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1:52pm

Thu March 29, 2012
JazzSet

Benny Green Trio On JazzSet

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:32 am

Benny Green.
Courtesy of the artist

The pioneering pianist Thelonious Monk left behind a treasure trove of compositions. Onstage at the KC Jazz Club at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., a current jazz treasure is here to play some of the best. Benny Green is on piano with Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums.

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5:48pm

Thu March 15, 2012
JazzSet

Regina Carter, Wynton Marsalis On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 2:12 pm

Regina Carter (right) with Yacouba Sissoko.
Ayano His Newport Jazz Festival

JazzSet returns to the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival for performances from two complementary bandleaders on the main Fort Adams stage: violinist Regina Carter and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Regina Carter started playing violin as a 4-year-old Suzuki method student in Detroit, and later played in school and community orchestras. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, she chose jazz as her primary direction. JazzSet first presented her from the 1995 Telluride Jazz Festival — on a stage in the mountains, playing into the open air.

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1:12pm

Fri March 9, 2012
JazzSet

Avishai Cohen's Triveni With Anat Cohen On JazzSet

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 9:38 am

Anat Cohen (left) performs with Avishai Cohen (center) at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Ayano Hisa for NPR

Anat Cohen leads the Anzic Orchestra (Anat + music = Anzic), and Anzic opens this JazzSet by letting "Samba de Orfeu" morph into "Struttin' With Some Barbecue." Cohen loves both Brazilian and New Orleans music, and connects them with ease. "Struttin'" features the trumpet section one man at a time, concluding with Avishai Cohen. Later in the show, Anat will be back.

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3:19pm

Thu March 1, 2012
JazzSet

Roy Haynes Fountain Of Youth Band On JazzSet

Roy Haynes.
Courtesy of the artist

"My name is Roy Haynes and I'm the drummer. Give the drummer some!" the smiling bandleader exclaims at the Terrace Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Haynes is the winner of a 2011 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy, and he does not have to ask for applause. He's already getting a standing ovation.

On March 13, 2012, Haynes celebrates his 87th birthday, and he's still driving the train.

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10:10am

Thu February 23, 2012
JazzSet

Kevin Eubanks On JazzSet

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:25 am

Note the message on Kevin Eubanks' cap: "Meet You at the Blue Room." It's a nice club in Kansas City, in the historic district where Count Basie, Lester Young and Mary Lou Williams used to play.
Len Katz Photography

Kevin Eubanks (briefly) and saxophonist Bill Pierce (in the mid 1980s) both played in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the two-generation-spanning band that is so very important in jazz from 1950s through the '80s. Now Pierce chairs the Woodwinds Department at Berklee College.

Eubanks and Marvin Smith were in The Tonight Show band together for 15 years, with guitar riffs and rim shots for Jay Leno Monday through Friday. "Smitty" brought Los Angeles bassist Rene Camacho into this group.

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3:31pm

Fri February 17, 2012
JazzSet

Either/Orchestra On JazzSet

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:33 am

The Either/Orchestra at the New School in New York City from left to right: Charlie Kohlhase, Hailey Niswanger, Russ Gershon, saxophones; Joel Yennior, trombone; Tom Halter and Dan Rosenthal, trumpets; Gilson Schachnik, piano; Rick McLaughlin, bass; Pablo Bencid, drums; Vicente Lebron, percussion.
David Tallacksen WBGO

A creative composer and his 10-piece band embed melodies from a golden musical age in the Horn of Africa into Western harmony, and an Afro-Caribbean breeze blows through it, as Russ Gershon and the Either/Orchestra present The Collected Unconscious in Tishman Auditorium at the New School in New York City, in Surround Sound on JazzSet.

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3:48pm

Thu February 9, 2012
JazzSet

The Mingus Orchestra On JazzSet

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 9:12 am

Gunther Schuller conducts the Mingus Orchestra at St. Bartholomew's Church.
Courtesy of the artist

Correction: The audio of this segment mentions a February performance by the Mingus Jazz Orchestra. There will be no Mingus Jazz Orchestra concert this year. The audio and text of this segment also misidentified the dates of the 2013 Mingus High School Competition. The competition is Feb. 15-18.

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