For jazz fans, you may be happiest with the line-up scheduled to the 8pm concerts at Theatre Maisonneuve in Place des Arts. Jazz guitarist Al Di Meola is this year’s winner of the Miles Davis Award, and he opens the series on June 26, followed the Stanley Clarke Band on June 27. Smooth jazz guitarist John Schofield teams up with the cool sax of Joe Lovano on June 29. Vic Vogel and his Big Band will celebrate Vic’s 80th Birthday and his well-earned retirement on June 30. It promises to be a special and perhaps even an emotional evening as the legendary bandleader retires.

Grands Concerts

Stanley Clarke

Dee Dee Bridgewater will take the stage on July 3 with Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra in what promises to be a hot night of searing jazz vocals and playing.

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 Keeping Tradition 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. Currently starring in the lead role of Billie Holiday in the off-Broadway production of Lady Day, 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.

Tickets for the Grands Concerts series are at the Place des Arts Box Office: 514-842-2112 or www.placedesarts.com

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