On Friday June 24 at 8:00 PM, The Town Hall (123 W. 43rd St.), Times Square's landmark concert venue, presents A Blue Note Jazz Festival Event, "To Billie With Love A Celebration of Lady Day" by famed jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater with guest artist Chrisette Michelle, who is produced in association with Jill Newman Productions. Dee Dee Bridgewater will perform a tribute to the legendary Billie Holiday that will feature selections from Bridgewater's latest recording, "Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee," for which Ms. Bridgewater received the 2011 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. She will sing and scat her way to a fresh interpretation of Holiday's signature melodies, accompanied by the quartet of Edsel Gomez (Piano), Kenny Davis (Bass), Jaz Sawyer (drums) and Craig Handy (reeds). Tickets are on sale now for $50 and $45 and are available through Ticketmaster (800) 982-2787 or www, ticketmaster.com or by visiting The Town Hall Box Office between noon and 6PM (except Sundays).
Dee Dee Bridgewater is a Tony ® Award winner, UN Ambassador and NPR radio host. One of the most lauded vocalists of our time, she brings her considerable talent and precise interpretations to renowned songs that have endured to become timeless classics. As a child, her mother played for her the greatest albums of Ella Fitzgerald, whose artistry provided an inspiration for Dee Dee throughout her career. She toured the Soviet Union in 1969 with the University of Illinois Big Band and made her New York debut in 1970 as the lead vocalist for the band led by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, one of the premier jazz orchestras of the time. She appeared in concerts and recorded with such giants as Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, Stanley Clarke and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. In 1974, she jumped at the chance to act and sing on Broadway, where her voice, beauty and stage presence won her great success and a Tony® Award for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in "The Wiz." This began a long line of awards and accolades as well as opportunities to work in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Paris and in London, where she received the coveted Laurence Olivier Award nomination as Best Actress for her tour de force portrayal of jazz legend Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl's "Lady Day." Performing the lead in equally demanding acting/singing roles as "Sophisticated Ladies," "Cosmopolitan Greetings," "Black Ballad," "Carmen Jazz" and the musical "Cabaret" (the first black actress to star as Sally Bowles), she secured her reputation as a consummate entertainer.
Chrisette Michele, a Grammy Award winning R&B vocalist, will make her Town Hall debut and her first professional foray into the world of jazz in this evening. She'll return to her roots, paying tribute to three jazz icons she credits as her biggest influences: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, backed by her own jazz trio. Michele's three releases, all on the Def Jam label, are unmistakably R&B records, but have hinted at her love for jazz in her style and even in her lyrics. She won a Grammy for her '09 song, "Be Ok." Michele will add her own R&B flavor to standards made famous by Ella, Billie and Sarah. She will also scat solos throughout, a craft she studied diligently as a youth and through her higher education.