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The Woodshed Network, Brainchild of Dee Dee Bridgewater, Mentors Women in Jazz

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The Woodshed Network

The project is a partnership with 651 ARTS, the African performing arts institution in Brooklyn

The next generation of women in jazz has a place to go for career guidance. It’s called the Woodshed Network, the creation of jazz legend Dee Dee Bridgewater — now in its fourth year.

This year’s event is virtual, with 12 women who are at the start of their jazz careers, and runs through Mar. 10. Tulani Bridgewater-Kowalski, Dee Dee’s daughter, designs the programs.

“We try to approach anything that we believe artists could benefit from and we bring in experts who are also all women presenters so that they’re not only getting information but they’re also seeing women in these positions of excellence,” she said.

This year’s mentors include musicians Sheila E. and Lizz Wright, playwright Anna Deavere Smith, agent Marilyn Rosen, and manager Karen Kennedy. The program is a partnership with 651 ARTS, the African performing arts institution in Brooklyn.

Bridgewater-Kowalski said the program is not solely professional in nature.

“What we have found is that they have a gap in how to handle their professional lives and also how to take care of themselves as people, so mental health and wellness is addressed, physical health and wellness, we do yoga and meditation every single day,” she said.

Bridgewater says the project is gathering momentum.

“It has been a very slow but steady growth, we have opted to not publicize the program so much, we are just really beginning to put the word out publicly,” she said.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.