Partners - "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." Shirley Chisholm
DDB Productions & DDB Records Logo
DDB Productions + DDB Records is a growing group of seasoned, creative and entertainment professionals. Founded in 1996 by triple Grammy® and Tony® award winning Jazz legend, Dee Dee Bridgewater.
DDB PRODUCTIONS is a boutique Music Production, Global Tour Management and Talent Development company. Specializing in Jazz, World, and Alternative music, DDB RECORDS is an independent record label conceived by Dee Dee Bridgewater to support and promote artistic diversity. Through its negotiated distribution agreements with such industry giants as Sony, Universal Music Group, Decca/EmArcy and Navarre, DDB Records artists receive premier exposure and product support.
ddbprods.com
Bridgewater Artists Management Logo
Bridgewater Artists Management exists to support artists and musicians of the highest calibre in their efforts to bring their projects, ideas, dreams and aspirations to fruition.
Guided by unwavering support, dedication and hard work, B|A|M proudly represents its roster with the kind of hands-on management that only a boutique outfit can provide.
Offering full-service management and artist development, B|A|M handles music production, recording and touring with support in marketing, publicity and promotion.
bridgewaterartists.com
651 Arts Logo
651 ARTS’s mission is to deepen awareness of and appreciation for contemporary performing arts and culture of the African Diaspora, and to provide professional and creative opportunities for artists of African descent.
To fulfill our mission we:
  • Present live dance, music, theater, and other performance-based art
  • Invest in artists in a variety of ways, including professional and artistic development, commissions, and residencies
  • Support cultural exchange between US-based and international performing artists in both the United States and abroad
  • Produce programming for our immediate community and the general public to participate in intergenerational lifelong learning, civic, and social engagement through meaningful exposure to art, artists, and ideas
  • Provide young people with educational arts programming

Our vision…
To be a leading institution in the performing arts ecology that illuminates the evolving stories and varied cultural experiences of the African Diaspora, an institution whose impact and influence transforms individual lives, neighborhoods, and global communities.
651arts.org
JWO Media is a Brooklyn-based production company focused on film, television and educational media projects. Our mission is to create projects that speak to every fiber of the human condition. We are normalizing the production of projects challenge the conventional and amplify the voices of women.
  • We want our audiences to LAUGH, to THINK and be inspired.
  • We want our audiences to LEARN through engaging stories.
  • We want our audiences to FEEL.

jwomedia.com
Team Woodshed
Dee Dee Bridgewater

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR


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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 most recently won the 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 Lewis 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. Bridgewater began self-producing with her 1993 album Keeping Tradition (Polydor/Verve) and created DDB Records in 2006 when she signed with the Universal Music Group as a producer (Bridgewater produces all of her own CDs). Releasing a series of critically-acclaimed CD's, 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. Having recently completed a run as 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 Off-Broadway and West End Productions of Lady Day, for which Bridgewater received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She also served as the namesake host of the long-running syndicated NPR radio program JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, produced by Becca Puliiam for WBGO. 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. In April 2017 was the recipient of an NEA Jazz Masters Fellows Award with honors bestowed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In December 2017, Bridgewater was presented with the ASCAP Foundation Champions award acknowledging her charitable contributions. In 2018, Bridgewater received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award. 2019 brought her induction in the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions to music and in celebration of her latest CD, Memphis, Yes...I'm Ready. That same year, Bridgewater launched The Woodshed Network, a non-profit partnership with 651 Arts created to mentor, connect, support, and educate women in Jazz. Bridgewater serves as Artistic Director, along with Associate Artistic Director and Program Curator Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski with lead support by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Photo by Hernan Rodriguez
Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski
CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
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Born in New York and raised across the globe, Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski was born into music. Her mother is legendary Dee Dee Bridgewater (Tony and multi-Grammy award winner, NEA Jazz Master, ASCAP Champion, and more). Her father is Hard-Bop titan Cecil Bridgewater (Loud Minority, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Max Roach).
Testing the waters early on with Island Records while earning her B.A. from Vassar College, she relocated to Los Angeles and legendary talent firm, Ken Fritz Management, working with clients, George Benson, Michael Feinstein, Rebekah del Rio and Sandy Knox. She then went on to associate manage jazz artists, such as Kurt Elling and Billy Childs with Open Door Management.
Transitioning into the world of television, Tulani helped rebuild the Talent department of kid-cabler, Nickelodeon, handling celebrity and network talent for domestic and international outlets, both on and off-air. Her projects include “Blue’s Clues,” “Little Bill,” “Rugrats,” SpongeBob Squarepants,” “Dora the Explorer” “Snow Day,” The Big Help,” “The Kids’ Choice Awards,” and more. After nearly four years with the network, she decided to resume her career in music management and production.
Together with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tulani expanded DDB Productions into a full-fledged international management and production firm. She also helped develop DDB Records, which has put out Grammy award-winning titles for Dee Dee Bridgewater and released Theo Croker's critically acclaimed "AfroPhysicist". Croker’s subsequent releases “DVRKFUNK” and “Escape Velocity” have been called the future of Jazz.
Dee Dee's most recent album, “Memphis...Yes, I’m Ready”, was co-produced by Bridgewater-Kowalski and has been an unprecedented foray into R&B and Blues fused with Jazz and is being heralded as one of Bridgewater’s finest albums to date. 2019 brought the anticipated release of Theo Croker's newest album "Star People Nation" (Sony Masterworks). After appearing on albums for J.Cole, Ari Lennox and Common, SPN was lauded as a breakthrough.
Bridgewater-Kowalski served on the leadership team in development and growth of the forward-thinking social platform theWoolfer, which was acquired by Silicon Valley startup HelloRevel (an online space providing community and resources to women globally), in addition to content creation, contributing host for the (R)aging Gracefully podcast and video programming. This naturally dovetails with her efforts with The Woodshed Network, which seeks to build community, support and mentorship for Women in Jazz.
Tulani is a member of NARAS, ASCAP, SAG/AFTRA and the MMF.
Photo by Stephen Kowalski
PROJECT MANAGER
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Independent Arts Consultant, Linda Walton has a venerable history of supporting the arts and creatives. Serving as Executive Director for the Harlem Arts Alliance and Vice President of Programming for Jazzmobile, Walton's expertise in all aspects of presenting, programming and community outreach and support are integral to the success of her clients, which include The Woodshed Network, 651 Arts, The Apollo Theater, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and more.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Toya Lillard is a theater artist, director, arts educator, and facilitator. Toya currently serves as Executive Director of 651 ARTS, a nationally renowned arts presenting organization. Before joining 651 ARTS, Toya was Executive Director of viBe Theater Experience, an arts education organization and theater company in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to her role at viBe, Toya was Director of School Programs for The New York Philharmonic’s Education Department, where she helped develop its nationally recognized School Partnership Program.
Toya is part-time faculty at The New School, where she teaches Collaborative Theatre Practice. Toya serves on the Board of the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, and co-chairs the TaskForce on Equity and Inclusion, and serves on the Board of viBe Theater Experience. Toya holds a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
PRODUCTION MANAGER
Robert W. Henderson, Jr., has been with 651 ARTS since 2005, managing a wide range of live performance events, including 651’s 25th Anniversary Celebration at the BAM Harvey Theater with the Mississippi Delta Heritage Project, a 2-week celebration of the artistic culture of the Mississippi Delta.
He has been the primary lighting designer for Tiffany & Co. Fifth Ave Flagship store since 2011 and the resident lighting designer for Theatre Three Productions in Port Jefferson, NY, since 2005. He has production managed ceremonies for Pratt Institute and NYU Steinhardt at Radio City Music Hall; Brooklyn Youth Chorus’s Silent Voices workshop and premiere at BAM Opera House; Season of Cambodia, a month-long festival featuring 125 Cambodian artists throughout NYC; and Thirsting for Peace, commemorating 70 years of UNESCO at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, among many other events in NYC and internationally.
PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
Farren Wood is a South African/Australian arts manager, creative professional and fierce community advocate. An inherent and culturally inherited love of storytelling has seen her dedicate her career to either telling the story or cultivating a place and space for stories to be told.
Farren has worked as an actor / writer / performer / producer / event and artist manager. She takes pride in her ability to apply a well-rounded perspective to every part of the creative process. She has created and produced events for multiple West-Australian arts organizations, including Fringeworld Perth. Her most recent work has been in events for the capital city local government, the City of Perth. These range from small community gatherings to large-scale commercial music festivals.
Farren has a BA in Arts Management from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
PRODUCTION/TECH
Joanna White-Oldham is an award winning producer and emerging director from Brooklyn, New York.
Her most notable projects are: Buried by the Bernards, Netflix (2021); The Last Five Years (2021) Drama League Award nominee (2021); The Company You Keep, starring Aixa Kendrick, winner of the Best Actress award at the 2020 Hip Hop Film Festival; The Takeover (2019), Semi-Finalist Dumbo Film Festival, Finalist (2019), MicroMania Film Festival (2020); Waking Up White (2019), winner Best TV Series, Charlotte Black Film Festival (2020) and Too Much Love (2018), a PSA sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Joanna credits her love of storytelling to her parents, particularly her father, who emphasized the importance of reading and stimulated her love of the movies as a little girl. As she grew older, she developed an interest in a wide variety of genres, but the stories that continue to pique her interest are thrillers and psychological dramas, elevated horror and documentaries. However, Joanna is interested in work that challenges her, so she is constantly evolving and seeking new ways to bring stories to life.
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DDB Productions & DDB Records
Bridgewater Artists Management
651 Arts