Dee Dee Bridgewater's Breakthrough Audition
JOINING THE THAD JONES/MEL LEWIS ORCHESTRA [:60]
RUFFIN: NOW A JAZZ MOMENT
IN 1970, DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER GOT WORD THAT THE THAD JONES/MEL LEWIS ORCHESTRA WANTED A FEMALE SINGER. WITHOUT ANY MUSICAL TRAINING, SHE SHOWED UP TO THE VILLAGE VANGUARD TO AUDITION.
Dee Dee Bridgewater: So I gathered up the nerve and I went down to the club, and Thad called me up, and I auditioned. And I think I sang “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “Fly Me to the Moon.” They were some arrangements that—that the band had. I didn’t know the keys or anything. I just got up and sang.
Bye Bye Blackbird up, under
And I remember the audience really kind of going crazy. I was 20 and I got hired. And so, that’s how I started.
Excerpt of “Bye Bye Black Bird” composed by Mort Dixon and Ray Henderson and performed live by Dee Dee Bridgewater with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. Used by permission of Ray Henderson Music Co. Inc. and BMG Firefly [ASCAP]