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Biography

Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski by Kimberly M. Wang | Eardog Productions

The daughter of Jazz legends, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Cecil Bridgewater, Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski was born into the business of show. She was behind-the-scenes from the start, napping as an infant in the cloakrooms of fabled New York Jazz clubs, and toddling onto television sets and concert stages. At an early age, she embraced entertainment and the arts as her home.

 

A precocious mind and unending search for the why and how come were nurtured when Bridgewater attended Los Angeles' Mirman School for Highly Gifted Children. An almost vagabond upbringing of countless moves across the U.S. and Europe landed Tulani in France, where she attended the École Active Bilingue. Paris was where she started her career as a studio vocalist in her early teens. She parlayed the skill into adventurous travels abroad and international intrigue of the non-espionage variety. 

 

While attending the prestigious Vassar College, she tested the waters at Island Records in New York. It was in college that she met her future husband, entertainment and technology executive, Stephen Kowalski.

 

After graduating, Bridgewater relocated to Los Angeles with legendary talent firm, Ken Fritz Management, working with Grammy Award® winning and nominated 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.

 

Tulani expanded her experience in the world of entertainment when she transitioned into a position in television and film. At Nickeloden, Tulani helped rebuild the Talent department of the kid-cabler, handling celebrity and network talent for domestic and international projects, both on and off-air, and in print. Her projects  include “Blue’s Clues,” “Little Bill,” “Rugrats (TV and Film),” SpongeBob Squarepants,” “Dora the Explorer” “Snow Day,” The Big Help,” “The Kids’  Choice Awards,” and more.

 

After several years with MTVN/Nickelodeon, Bridgewater decided to resume her career in music management and production at DDB Productions, Inc. and DDB Records in partnership with mother and management client, Dee Dee Bridgewater.  She and Kowalski tied the knot, an auspicious launch into the next phase of life and career. At DDB, she worked on projects with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Don Grusin, Kellylee Evans, SoShy and consulted for various record labels.

 

Together with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tulani expanded DDB Productions' international management and production projects. Their collaboration in DDB Records, has released Grammy award-winning "Eleanora Fagan"  and multiple Grammy nominated titles for Dee Dee Bridgewater. The pair also developed and released Theo Croker's critically acclaimed "AfroPhysicist," “DVRKFUNK” (EP), “Escape Velocity."

 

In 2015, she launched the independent management, artist development and consulting firm, Bridgewater Artists Management. Undertaking projects with emerging and established artists, as well as consulting with music industry companies, media outlets, and nonprofits, BAM has established a venerable reputation.

 

As part of her work, she co-produced Dee Dee Bridgewater's most recent album, “Memphis...Yes, I’m Ready.” An unprecedented foray into R&B and Blues fused with Jazz, "Memphis" has been heralded as one of Bridgewater’s finest albums to date.  2019 brought the release of Theo Croker's newest album "Star People Nation," which garnered a Grammy nod (Sony Masterworks). After appearing on albums for J.Cole, Ari Lennox and Common, SPN was lauded as a breakthrough in New Jazz. Her latest project with powerhouse trio Nite Bjuti, featuring Candice Hoyes, Val Jeanty and Mimi Jones releases summer of 2023.

 

Concurrent with her work in music, Bridgewater-Kowalski served on the leadership team for the forward-thinking social platform: theWoolfer (a global online space that provided community and resources to women). She went on to serve on the advisory board for Hello Revel, an online and in-person community and educational platform. She contributed reviews, articles, and content for both.

 

In 2020, she established The Writer's Room, a daily online and in-person co-operative community for women writers. In 2023, she and fellow Writer's Room partner, Heartland Emmy Award winning writer and novelist, Amy Marie Turner, co-founded Fauve Press - an independent publisher of fiction and creative nonfiction. She serves on the Advisory Board for The Plain Sight Archive, which focuses on spotlighting underrepresented artists of the 20th century. This naturally dovetails with her co-leadership of The Woodshed Network, founded in 2019 with Dee Dee Bridgewater, 651 Arts and partial funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Woodshed Network works to build community, support and mentorship for Women in Jazz.

 

Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski resides in Los Angeles with her husband, children and wily dogs.

Appearances: The New Jazz Listener (Guest Speaker and Music Curator), The Today Show (Guest), WBGO (Guest), Voyage LA Rising Star, Women in Jazz Media, The New School (Guest Speaker), Kindra Health (Guest Moderator), Sleep.com (Panelist), LA Times Inspirational Woman Nominee, Jazz Congress (Panelist), The Woolfer TV (Interviewer), Raging Gracefully (Interviewer), KTLA Morning News (Guest)

Member: NARAS (Voting), ASCAP, SAG/AFTRA, MMF, and International Women in Jazz

Photo by Kimberly M. Wang | Eardog Productions

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