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Direct from Kennedy Center to Philadelphia, Jazz Powerhouses Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, and Dee Dee Bridgewater Perform "A Tribute to Abbey Lincoln," May 5, 2017

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Direct from @kencen, jazz songstresses @ddbprods @diannereeves1 & @EspeSpalding pay tribute to #AbbeyLincoln at the @KimmelCenter 5/5

Press Contact:
Amanda Conte


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, PA, March 23, 2017) –– Grammy Award®-winning jazz artists Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, and Dee Dee Bridgewater will come together to pay musical tribute to a legendary songstress, civil rights activist, and NEA Jazz Master in A Tribute to Abbey Lincoln. The performance, taking place at the Merriam Theater on May 5, 2017 at 8:00 p.m., will celebrate the life and legacy of Abbey Lincoln (1930-2010) through performances of songs from Lincoln’s songbook. The performance is helmed by Grammy Award®-winning drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington.

Abbey Lincoln was beloved for her powerful and unique voice, as well as for pursuing her art with integrity and turning music into a genuine celebration of life. This performance highlights President John F. Kennedy’s value of justice, which is encompassed in Abbey Lincoln’s outspoken and endless fight for rights in the 1960s. Lincoln asked her friend Dee Dee Bridgewater to help keep her songbook of recorded albums alive. On May 20, 2011, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Bridgewater began to fulfill her promise with this program.

“It is truly humbling to host visionary talent on our Campus, paying tribute to this legendary artist who elevated both musical influence and the civil rights movement,” said Anne Ewers, President and CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “All of these women excel with their expansive vocal and performing arts abilities. Yet, what stands out is the dedication they have shown, using their talents to make a difference in our society.”

Esperanza Spalding is a world-renowned genre-bending composer, bassist and vocalist, whose work is grounded in strong jazz traditions, but never bounded by them. With seven collaborative and five solo albums under her belt at only 31, Esperanza’s work has won her four Grammy Awards®, brought her onstage at the Oscars, the Nobel Prize Ceremony, the White House, and with Prince and Herbie Hancock.

Dianne Reeves returned to the spotlight in 2015 after a five year hiatus from recording albums with Beautiful Life. Winning the 2015 Grammy Award® for Best Jazz Vocal album, Beautiful Life showcases Dianna’s talents in melding R&B, Latin, and pop elements within the framework of 21st century Jazz.

Dee Dee Bridgewater is a sparkling ambassador for jazz who commands profundity of artistry in every medium. Critically-recognized, she has won three Grammy Awards® and a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for The Wiz, as well as a nomination for a Laurence Oliver Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Lady Day. Making her mark in the 1970s, she has been on recordings with musical giants including Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, and Roland Kirk.  In October of 1999, Dee Dee joined the battle against world hunger and was named an ambassador to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Other upcoming performances on the Kimmel Center Campus include: Chris Botti (May 6, 2017, Merriam Theater), World Premiere Performance by Kimmel Center Jazz Resident Max Swan (May 11, SEI Innovation Studio), Motown The Musical (May 30 – June 11, Academy of Music), and Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia: A Night in Havana (June 10, 2017, Perelman Theater).


Featuring Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, and Dee Dee Bridgewater

Merriam Theater

May 5, 2017, 8:00 p.m.


Tickets are on sale now and start at $36.00 Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales are available for groups of 10 or more and can be purchased by calling (215) 790-5883. More information at

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, the Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center Campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2016-2017 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit

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For a PDF version of this press release, please click here