Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater Receive's America's Highest Honor in Jazz


On April 3, 2017 Dee Dee Bridgewater will become a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts 2017 NEA Jazz Masters Fellows, America's highest honor in Jazz. All recipients—four musicians and one advocate—are recognized for their lifetime achievements and exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz. Each will receive a $25,000 award and be honored at a tribute concert on Monday, April 3, 2017, produced in collaboration with the Kennedy Center.

Dee Dee Bridgewater – Vocalist, Producer, Broadcaster Bridgewater is a daring performer of great depth whose singing talents have earned her both a Tony and multiple Grammy Awards. In addition, her commanding personality made her a natural for hosting the award-winning National Public Radio syndicated radio show JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater from 2001 to 2014. .

For 35 years, the National Endowment for the Arts has celebrated jazz, one of our nation’s most important cultural contributions, by honoring those who have dedicated their lives to this music."

- NEA Chairman, Jane Chu -

Other NEA 2017 Master Fellows Include

Ira Gitler* – Author, Editor, Producer, Educator Gitler is an American jazz historian, journalist, educator, and author who has written several books about jazz and hundreds of liner notes for jazz recordings. He has also written for many jazz publications, and served as associate editor of Downbeat during the 1960s. In the 1980s and '90s he produced concerts for George Wein’s New York jazz festivals. Gitler also taught jazz history at several colleges and is considered one of the great historians and champions of the music.

Dave Holland – Bassist, Cellist, Composer, Bandleader Holland is one of the most versatile bassists in jazz, working across different styles seamlessly, from traditional to avant-garde jazz to world and folk music. He is also an accomplished composer and bandleader, bringing together musicians of exceptional talent to perform his intricate compositions. In a career spanning five decades, he has continued to evolve musically with each new project while honing his instantly identifiable sound.

Dick Hyman – Keyboardist, Composer, Arranger Hyman is a piano virtuoso who—Zelig-like—has been known for playing in any style he wants. A masterful improviser, he is also a composer of concerti and chamber music, and the soundtrack composer/arranger for more than a dozen Woody Allen films (including, appropriately, Zelig). In addition, he launched the acclaimed Jazz in July series at the 92nd Street Y in New York City and served as its artistic director for 20 years.

Dr. Lonnie Smith – Organist, Composer Smith is a master Hammond B3 jazz organist and composer who, in a career spanning more than 50 years, has been featured on more than 70 jazz, blues, and rhythm-and-blues recordings. He is considered one of the premier purveyors of funk/soul jazz.