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Los Angeles is an incredible city - but it's so large and so vast and so diverse that all of us are missing out on tons of great people, businesses, organizations, events and more.

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

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski.

Tulani was born into the entertainment industry. Her mother, Dee Dee Bridgewater, is a Tony, Grammy award winner, as well as UN Goodwill Ambassador, NEA Jazz Master and Memphis Music Hall of Fame Inductee, amongst other accolades. Her father, Cecil Bridgewater, is a hard-bop trumpeter who has performed with the legends of jazz, including Max Roach, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and The Loud Minority.

Her mother remarried (Gilbert Moses, film, stage and tv director) and the newly formed family transplanted from New York City to Los Angeles where she attended the Little Red Schoolhouse and The Mirman School. As is common amongst entertainers, they moved frequently throughout the US, as her mother and step-father’s careers demanded. Their union gifted a younger sister, China Moses (a fiercely talented singer, songwriter, producer and radio/tv host/presenter).

As their marriage ran its course, Tulani, Dee Dee and China, moved to Europe. First landing in Switzerland, we settled in France with brief stints in the UK and Germany. She attended the École Active Bilingue in Paris, which was an immersive French-language lycée. Upon graduation, she returned to the USA to attend Vassar College. Her studies focused on English, with secondary concentration in Studio Arts. During her time at Vassar, she interned with Island Records and RubinSpangle Gallery, which reinforced her commitment to pursuing a career in the arts.

With a BA in hand, Tulani landed her first job after graduation working in production on a documentary film. After that project wrapped, she returned to Los Angeles with the renowned 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, she 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, she 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.

In 2017, Tulani launched independent Talent Management and Consulting firm Bridgewater Artists Management. Under B|A|M, Bridgewater-Kowalski has worked with illustrious jazz, hiphop, R&B and world music artists, as well as tech startups.

Community-building is a passion for Tulani. In 2007, she created the Villa Marina Parents Club (Marina del Rey, CA) for a community of over 600 homes. She partnered in the creation of the Hollywood Helps Flint benefit to respond to the Flint, MI water crisis, as well as doing outreach work with various organizations, such as UNESCO, the UN FAO, and others.

Bridgewater-Kowalski served on the leadership team in the 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 2020, Tulani launched The Writer’s Room, a daily writing space for women across the globe. In addition to daily sessions, the space hosts author talks, in-person events, workshops and social gatherings.

In tandem with her ongoing work with her firm B|A|M, she is a contributing host for the (R)aging Gracefully podcast and video program. She also serves on the advisory board for the Plain Sight Archive, a data archiving tool for underrepresented and overlooked figures in the arts. This naturally dovetailed with her efforts with the non-profit she co-founded and serves as co-Artistic Director, The Woodshed Network, which seeks to build community, support and mentorship for Women in Jazz.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?


Life is rarely a straight or smooth path for anyone. The upheaval of moving over 50 times before graduating college was a challenge. I was pursuing a Master’s degree at UCLA after I married my college best friend, but when I found myself pregnant with our first of two children, I had to postpone that path.

I think life is an endurance challenge and an ultra-marathon. I am built for distance, resilience and improvisation. I joke that my life is jazz. I am constantly responding to the moment, staying flexible/limber and incorporating everything in my universe into the work I do and the way I approach life.

 

I have no regrets and I’m addicted to living.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?


I’m an interdisciplinary creative. I shepherd others’ visions, hopes and dreams to fruition through my work as a talent manager, specializing in music. I am a facilitator who meets needs and fills in gaps. I am a community builder and I am a creative. I’m most proud of the work I do for others and for finding pathways and solutions. Along the way, I remind myself to incorporate my personal hopes and dreams. I believe there are win-wins to be found everywhere, we just have to be creative, abandon our egos, and put forth our best efforts. I subscribe to the idea that failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. I believe that consistency and endurance will win every time. So, I put in the work, the time, and the care in everything I do.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?


I’m delighted with my family. We’re a ragtag band of happy lunatics. Having a wonderful husband, who was my college best friend is a daily gift. He makes me laugh every day. Our two teenagers are people I would want to be around, even if we weren’t related. Our two dogs are a constant source of entertainment.

 

I’m a newly minted “Valley Girl” and I adore it. I feel like I’m waking up in the pages of Sunset Magazine every day.

Tulani is a member of NARAS, ASCAP, SAG/AFTRA and the MMF.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:
Photo credit on first photo: Kimberly M. Wang | Eardog Productions

All other photos: Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski

Bridgewater in Morocco with the Herbie Hancock Institute for UNESCO International Jazz Day.

Bridgewater in Morocco with the Herbie Hancock Institute for UNESCO International Jazz Day. 

With Inaugural Woodshed Network mentees

With Inaugural Woodshed Network Mentees, Exec. Dir. of 651 Arts, David Roberts (L), Sarah Hanahan, Darynn Dean, Tulani Bridgewater, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Amina Scott, and Sequoia Snyder at WBGO's 40th Anniversary Celebration and Honors Ceremony for Dee Dee Bridgewater, 2019.

After taping The Today Show with host Maria Shriver, Tulani Bridgewater, Phalana Tiller, Anya Spielman

After taping the Today Show with host Maria Shriver (L), Tulani Bridgewater, Phalana Tiller, Anya Spielman.

The Woodshed Network

Bridgewater (L, R) with Inaugural Woodshed Network Mentees: Darynn Dean, Erinn Alexis, Lakecia Benjamin, Amina Scott, Kennedy, Sequoia Snyder, and Dee Dee Bridgewater (L, Front) and Sheila Jordan (R, Front)

Bridgewater at home with her vintage Fender Mustang

Bridgewater at home with her vintage Fender Mustang.

Bridgewater post-interview with author Kristin van Ogtrop

Bridgewater post-interview with author Kristin van Ogtrop "Did I Say That Out Loud?" for The Woolfer and (R)aging Gracefully.

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