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This smooth jazz album is perfect to share with friends and a glass of wine. I have enjoyed this cd very much. The music from the orchestra and voice of Dee Dee mix well together. This album definitely has the stamp of New Orleans jazz written all over it.
“It is the underlying story of triumph that makes me most proud of this work. The waters of Katrina took so much from so many in New Orleans…We can only see this project as a tangible example of rebirth and healing and love, through the art of Jazz. Love is the greatest story ever told, and this collaboration proves there’s much to be had in New Orleans, and shared with everyone, everywhere.” – Soledad O’Brien, CNN Anchor/Journalist
Dee Dee’s Feathers, a journey through the history of New Orleans as told through song and the collaboration of Dee Dee Bridgewater, Irvin Mayfield & The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO), is set for release August 7th, 2015, via OKeh/Sony Music/DDB Records. Recorded at New Orleans’ Esplanade Studios, a studio in a reconverted historical church in the heart of the city that was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the release of Dee Dee’s Feathers will be accompanied by tour dates worldwide including stops at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, the Barbican in London and New York City’s famed Apollo Theatre on Halloween.
“It was at the groundbreaking ceremony of the future site of the Jazz Market where I had the idea of a collaborative recording,” said Bridgewater. “I thought that Irvin Mayfield, NOJO, and I needed a musical ‘calling card’ so to speak, a product that epitomized the joys of our accumulative collaborations. When I shared the idea with Irvin, the seed was planted. After several emails, Irvin’s song suggestions, song keys picked out over the phone, we found ourselves at Esplanade Studio exactly one month later. Under Irvin Mayfield’s skillful leadership, band members had done the arrangements, and over the course of three days we recorded, filmed, bonded, and laughed our way through the most extraordinary recording experience I’ve had. The music turned out so good, with my dear friend Dr. John blessing us on a day’s notice, Bill Summers’ magical percussive layers, and a host of well- known NOLA characters. I knew Irvin and his band mates had bathed me, immersed me, baptized me in the waters of the Mississippi, and exposed me to the roots of New Orleans. For me this album is a celebration of life itself.”
Added Mayfield, “This album is a testament to the continued relevance of New Orleans not only as a thriving city but also as a muse for communicating truth, love and beauty. Dee Dee Bridgewater leads us through a new artistic moment while answering a mandate created over a century ago by Jazz geniuses like Buddy Bolden, Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong. She proves through her art that New Orleans is not just a city but more importantly an idea that can make your heart and soul feel better.”
Although steeped in history, Dee Dee’s Feathers is at the same time a modern exploration of the music and culture that makes New Orleans a city and place unlike any other. Traditional songs such as “Big Chief” (featuring guest artist Dr. John), “Saint James Infirmary” and “What A Wonderful World” – all songs indicative to and steeped in the culture of the Big Easy – co-mingle with new compositions such as “Congo Square” and “C’est Ici Que Je T’aime,” transporting the listener on a sensory voyage through the city, whether dancing in a Second Line or frequenting a storied bordello in the heart of the city’s French Quarter.
The launch of the album and tour will also be tied-into the opening of NOJO’s New Orleans Jazz Market later in 2015. The first solely-dedicated space for Jazz and Education in New Orleans, Bridgewater will serve on the Board of Directors for the facility and has made a commitment to furthering music and education in the city in tandem with the facility.
Also being released in tandem with Dee Dee’s Feathers is Mayfield’s new book, New Orleans Jazz Playhouse, a 304-page coffee table book that includes seven CDs of live music recorded at his Bourbon Street Jazz club, Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse. The book reflects on Irvin’s unique experiences as a New Orleans native, a Jazz musician, and the many influences in his life including countless musicians, artists, photographers, chefs, teachers, and other mentors. Unifying and grounding the various stories, poems, and essays are two central concepts that permeate the book: jazz & love. Illustrating Mayfield’s well-crafted words is a collection of some of the most culturally significant photography and artwork by master craftspeople such as John Scott, Gordon Parks, George Rodrigue, Herman Leonard, Greg Miles, and Erika Goldring, and the book features an introduction by biographer Walter Isaacson, a foreword by novelist Ernest Gaines, and an afterword by trumpeter and jazz-master Wynton Marsalis.
- One Fine Thing
- What A Wonderful World
- Big Chief
- St. James Infirmary
- Dee Dee’s Feathers
- New Orleans
- Treme Song/Do Whatcha Wanna
- Come Sunday
- Congo Square
- C’est Ici Que Je T’Aime
- Do You Know What It Means
- Whoopin’ Blues
The Making of Dee Dee’s Feather’s – https://youtu.be/PnCfufgbRfs
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Over the course of a multifaceted career spanning four decades, Grammy and Tony Award-winning Jazz giant Dee Dee Bridgewater has ascended to the upper echelon of vocalists, putting her unique spin on standards, as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. Ever the fearless voyager, explorer, pioneer and keeper of tradition, the three-time Grammy-winner recently won the 2011 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee. Bridgewater’s career has always bridged musical genres. She earned her first professional experience as a member of the legendary Thad Jones/Mel Louis Big Band, and throughout the 70’s she performed with such jazz notables as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie. After a foray into the pop world during the 1980s, she relocated to Paris and began to turn her attention back to Jazz. Signing with the Universal Music Group as a producer (Bridgewater produces all of her CDs), Bridgewater released a series of critically-acclaimed titles beginning with KeepingTradition in 1993. All but one, including her wildly successful double Grammy Award-winning tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Dear Ella – have received Grammy nominations. Bridgewater also pursued a parallel career in musical theater, winning a Tony Award for her role as “Glinda” in The Wiz in 1975. Her other theatrical credits include Sophisticated Ladies, Black Ballad, Carmen, Cabaret and the West End Production of Lady Day, for which Bridgewater received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. As a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Bridgewater continues to appeal for international solidarity to finance global grassroots projects in the fight against world hunger.
Irvin Mayfield, 36 is a Grammy and Billboard Award-winning artist with 15 albums to his credit. Mayfield is the founding Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and currently serves as Artistic Director of Jazz at the Minnesota Orchestra. He is a professor at the University of New Orleans, where he also serves as Director of the New Orleans Jazz Institute. In 2009, Mayfield entered into a historic partnership with the Royal Sonesta Hotel and created Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, which brought “Jazz back to Bourbon Street” in the historic French Quarter. Mayfield was nominated to the National Council on the Arts by President George W. Bush and was subsequently appointed to the post by President Barack Obama in 2010. Mayfield also received The Chancellor’s Award from the University of New Orleans (the highest ranking award given to a professor) in 2010 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Dillard University in 2011. A passionate advocate for New Orleans and for the arts, Mayfield is Chairman of the Board for the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Foundation, as well as the New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the New Orleans Public Library and serves on the boards of Citizens United for Economic Equity, Louisiana State University’s Department of Psychiatry and Health Science, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, Tulane University’s School of Architecture, Unity of Greater New Orleans, the Urban Libraries Council, and the Youth Rescue Initiative.
New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra creates Jazz to enhance life, transform place, and elevate spirit. NOJO inspires freedom and culture in the individual and the global community by creating authentic, engaging Jazz experiences that celebrate the origins and transform the future of Jazz. As a performing arts organization, our goal is to strengthen the business of Jazz through performances, tours, recordings, education and media platforms. NOJO is the first and only performing arts institution committed solely to the development of an Industry for Jazz in the city that created it. Artistic Director Irvin Mayfield founded NOJO in 2002 as a powerful vehicle for celebrating and advancing the cultural and historical legacy of New Orleans Jazz. The concept came to Mayfield after he created the Institute of Jazz Culture at Dillard University as the youngest member of the faculty. As he looked around the City for a partner in the Jazz Industry, he found that there was no institution committed solely to the business of Jazz or performing it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in the city that created it. This led Mayfield to create the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, designed to celebrate and fortify the American Jazz portfolio while providing infrastructure for developing the New Orleans Jazz Industry. Mayfield assembled a 16-piece band and enlisted NOJO President & CEO Ronald Markham. NOJO had its first performance in early 2003 at Tipitina’s. NOJO made history on November 17, 2005 when they symbolically reopened New Orleans with the performance of a piece composed by Mayfield, All the Saints, at Christ Church Cathedral. This commission served New Orleans as the first major cultural event inside the city post-Katrina. As a non-profit organization, NOJO has forged an academic partnership with the University of New Orleans, where it oversees the New Orleans Jazz Institute (NOJI). NOJO has headlined all of America’s major performing arts venues and clubs and produced the first local, ticketed Jazz Concert Series in the history of New Orleans. NOJO’s latest album, BOOK ONE on World Village, a subsidiary of the Harmonia Mundi label, won the 2010 Grammy Award for “Best Large Jazz Ensemble.” NOJO recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary with The NOJO 10, a series that featured events at Preservation Hall, Tipitina’s, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and even New York City’s prestigious Carnegie Hall.
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