About Ron Bridgewater
Ron Bridgewater began his professional career in 1972 with a State Department tour of Japan, Europe, the Soviet Union, and the United States in the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. After three years with the band and several recordings, Mr. Bridgewater appeared as a regular member of ensembles led by jazz greats Max Roach, McCoy Tyner and Horace Silver. Along with his brother, trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, Ron led a group known as the Bridgewater Brothers which recorded two albums and toured the United States and Japan. He also toured with Cotton Club legend Cab Calloway.
Professor Bridgewater was frequently on call for Broadway musicals Ain’t Misbehavin’, Sophisticated Ladies, and Lena Horne – The Lady and Her Music, for which he was assistant musical director and appeared in the video production. For more than twenty years, Bridgewater was a mainstay on the New York music scene, where he taught in Billy Taylor’s Jazzmobile Workshop and freelanced, appearing in groups led by Reggie Workman, Michael Carvin, Cecil McBee and Frank Foster’s Loud Minority.
He is featured in Cecil Bridgewater’s CD release, Mean What You Say on Brownstone Records. He was a featured performer at New York’s Sweet Basil Club and The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. Mr. Bridgewater performed by invitation at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in Anaheim, California, where he received a Certificate of Appreciation for his outstanding service to jazz education.
At the University of Illinois, Professor Bridgewater teaches jazz saxophone, Jazz Styles, small ensembles, and improvisation. In addition to his university duties he helped establish the Banks, Bridgewater, Lewis Fine Arts Academy, an after school music program for high school and middle school students that hosts weekly rehearsals and a one week summer camp.