“Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, who’s coming to the Folly Theater this weekend, knows well the conventional ways of doing things in jazz, and she pushes back at them any way she can.
She has a history of testing her amazing skills and her sense of musical drama in a variety of settings. She has been a big-band singer, with the convention-breaking Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. She has worked countless nights in the standard singer-plus-trio format, which she gives her own approach.
She has been a Broadway performer, with a Tony Award to show for it. She even came through Kansas City with a band of African musicians playing native instruments — and that was a very memorable night, for all the right reasons.
Lately Bridgewater has been involved in another twist on tradition, with a band of New Orleans musicians. She’s testing herself on music as old as the jazz tradition itself and adding some post-Katrina New Orleans sounds to the mix. That’s the way we’ll hear her on Saturday at the Folly, with a group billed as the New Orleans 7.“