Over the course of a multi-faceted 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 and taking leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics.

Bridgewater’s career has always bridged musical genres. She has performed with such jazz notables as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie. She also pursued a parallel career in musical theatre, winning a Tony for her role as Glinda in The Wiz in 1975.

She’s currently on tour in support of her new album Memphis… Yes, I’m Ready, for which Bridgewater returned to her birthplace to continue the musical exploration of her roots and influences.

Bridgewater joined us in the Gumbo Kitchen to talk about her life and career, from her childhood spent listening to late-night radio to her ongoing creative output at age 69.