Music News & Reviews

Jazz Town: Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater brings Crescent City project to KC

Dee Dee Bridgewater will perform Saturday, May 21, at the Folly Theater.
Dee Dee Bridgewater will perform Saturday, May 21, at the Folly Theater. United Talent Agency

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.

In Bridgewater’s case, looking back to New Orleans is definitely not a step backward.

The show is at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Folly, 300 W. 12th St. Tickets are $20 to $50; call 816-474-4444 or visit Bridgewater will take part in a “JazzTalk” question-and-answer session for ticketholders at 7 p.m.


▪ The Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., has singer Dave Rizer in charge of the Monday jam at 7 p.m. The band Shades of Jade performs at 7 p.m. Thursday. Tenor saxophonist Doug Talley’s quartet is joined by singer Kathleen Holeman at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Singer Charlotte Fletcher and her band are joined by Gwen Yvette at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

▪ The Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Blvd., has students from the Metropolitan Jazz Workshop at 3 p.m. Sunday, followed by the Foundation 627 Big Band at 8:30 p.m.; trumpeter Ryan Thielman’s quartet at 6 p.m. Monday; the band Dojo at 7 p.m. Tuesday, followed by the Sequel Quartet at 10:30 p.m.; the New Jazz Order big band at 7 p.m. Wednesday, followed by organist Ken Lovern’s OJT at 9 p.m.; guitarist Matt Hopper’s trio at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by saxophonist Brett Jackson’s quartet at 9 p.m.; pianist Tim Whitmer at 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by OJT at 8:30 p.m. and organist Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 at 10 p.m.; and OJT again from 6 p.m. Saturday into the wee hours, with saxophonist Todd Wilkinson’s quartet downstairs at 8:30 p.m.

▪ The Westport CoffeeHouse Theatre, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., has trombonist Brian Scarborough’s group at 7 p.m. Wednesday and the Visceral Trio, an organ-guitar-drums group that got together at the University of North Texas, at 8 p.m. Thursday.

▪ The Art Factory, at 5621 W. 135th St., Suite 2630, in Overland Park’s Prairiefire development, has the salsa band Mundo Nouvo at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Joe Klopus, 816-234-4751