Jazz Education on “Front Street”

Too often, jazz education happens behind closed doors. At Detroit Jazz Fest, we give it visibility through workshops and master classes open to the public in our community.

Dee Dee Bridgewater interacting with student vocalists

Our Dee Dee Bridgewater vocal jazz master class at the Virgil H. Carr Center (Detroit, MI), in partnership with the DSO and Arts League of Michigan, put jazz education on “Front Street.”  The 200 people in the audience were as inspired and enlightened as the four selected students, who were cajoled, coached and firmly supported by Ms. Bridgewater.

One may not realize it, but there is much to be learned from a musical encounter that can affect the way any of us think and present ourselves. From how to speak, enunciate, move, dress, and oh yeah, LISTEN. It all applies to universal life skills.

Cliff Monear with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee spent over 2 1/2 hours critiquing and encouraging our talented young people in Detroit.  While we all know that these students receive valuable mentoring from ourhighly accomplished Detroit-based musicians, it is frosting on the cake to have a Tony Award and two time Grammy-winning artist connect in such a personal way.  And what can we say about Detroit’s own Cliff Monear? His spontaneous duet on “Bye Bye Blackbird” with Dee Dee…..Priceless!

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2 Responses to Jazz Education on “Front Street”

  1. Natasha says:

    I’m a graduate jazz & improv student from U of M and was one of the singers that performed at Dee Dee’s Master Class. I was so thrilled when I found out that I would be singing for her in person — one of the most amazing opportunities I could ever imagine! I’ve never seen Dee Dee performed live before, but I’ve been listening to her recordings for a couple of years and she is definitely one of my favorite jazz singers of all times. To be able to interact with her in person and to get tips and personalized advice from her is absolutely priceless…

    Dee Dee has such a great personality — While the Master Class was long and informative, she had my attention till the very last minute, and I’m sure everybody in the room that night felt the same way. The session was very informative and entertaining at the same time — Dee Dee was very sensitive to each singer’s style and choices and always had great suggestions. She was also very sweet and encouraging. Her master class was definitely the best vocal master class I’ve ever participated in 🙂 — Thank you DJF for such a wonderful opportunity for the jazz students and enthusiasts in the area!

    … AND she totally blew me away at her concert the night after 🙂

    Natasha Patamapongs,

  2. Keyandra May says:

    Im a senior from the Detroit school of arts Vocal Jazz Ensemble who was chosen to perform in the master class for Dee Dee Bridgewater. When I was asked to do the performance I was shocked that my music teach Mrs.valentine chose me out of all the great voices that make up our vocal jazz ensemble. I am truly grateful for the experience. I would never have thought that I could do such a thing and I sike myself out everytime I do. I was sooo nervous. Evertime I looked at my group who had showed up to learn and give support ( I love you guys!) they saw my nervousness and would say “calm down your gonna do great” and I remember feeling like no matter what happened they would bare the weight with me and I wouldn’t have to do it alone.
    My wonderful parents gave lots of support as DeeDee critiqued and polished my performance. She was a joy to meet and truly the life of any jazz party! lol I’m so glad that God has blessed me to be in some of the most wonderful situations that lift my spirits but make me humble and DFJ I am grateful
    Keyandra May

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