Cecil Bridgewater

Vernon Cecil Bridgewater ( born October 10, 1942 in Urbana ( Illinois)) is an American jazz trumpeter, composer and music teacher.

Life and work

Cecil Bridgewater's grandfather and father also played trumpet; he had his first professional job in the band of his uncle. He studied 1960-1964 and after military service in 1968/69 at the University of Illinois, with whose band he was in Western Europe and 1969 in Russia in 1968 on tour. With his brother Ron, he founded the loose formation Bridgewater Bros. band, which existed until 1989. In 1970 he played with Horace Silver and then went with the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra on tour. He also worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey 1972, Max Roach, Randy Weston, Charles McPherson, Joe Henderson, 1975, Roy Brooks, Abdullah Ibrahim and Sam Rivers. Later he was with the George Gruntz Concert Band of the road and participated in recordings of McCoy Tyner, Frank Wess, Heiner Stadler, Jack McDuff, Richard Davis, Billy Harper, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Antonio Hart, Groove Holmes and John Stubblefield with.

Bridgewater has received commissions from orchestras such as the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra and Meet The Composer, but also for Lena Horne, Vanessa Rubin or Dee Dee Bridgewater ( with whom he had been married since 1970) written compositions and arrangements. He was for many years in jazz Mobile worked as a music teacher and taught trumpet, improvisation, arrangement and big band game. In addition, he has taught at the New School and the Manhattan School of Music.


  • Mean What You Say - Brownstone Recordings 1998
  • I Love Your Smile - Mesa Records - 1993
  • Generations Suite - Denon Records - 1979
  • Lightning and Thunder - Denon Records - 1978

Lexigraphic entries

  • Martin Kunzler, Jazz Encyclopedia Vol 1 Rowohlt 2002; ISBN 3-499-16512-0