Cecil Bridgewater's 30 plus years of experience includes roles as performer, composer, arranger, record producer and educator. He has been a member of the groups of Max Roach, Horace Silver and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra to name a few. He has also shared the stage and/or studio with the Count Basie Orchestra, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Heath, Sir Roland Hanna, Wynton Marsalis and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers among others.
Cecil Bridgewater is a trumpeter who realizes the lineage of the trumpet and has an appreciation for its place in contemporary music, Cecil explores his artistic depth on his latest CD, Mean What You Say (March, 1998) - Brownstone Recordings. His illustrious career began with the musical training he received from his parents in Illinois where he grew up. His father, a trumpet player, inspired him to study trumpet. Also, he performed with and wrote for the high school dance band and played weekend gigs with band leader/uncle Pete Bridgewater.
After study at the University of Illinois, he went to Chicago for further study and professional performances. After a two year tour of duty with the Army, he toured with the University of Illinois Jazz Band in Eastern Europe and Russia. They made the rounds at the Newport Jazz Festival and several prestigious collegiate jazz festivals, most notably the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, where Cecil was the recipient of the Best Trumpet, Best Overall Musician, Best Small Group, and Best Big Band awards.