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Blue Note President and CEO Bruce Lundvall to Give Berklee's Zafris Distinguished Lecture

Berklee College of Music has selected Bruce Lundvall, President and CEO of The Blue Note Label Group, to give the 14th Annual Zafris Distinguished Lecture for Music Business/Management. In his lecture, "Reinventing Blue Note, and Other Adventures in the Music Business," Lundvall will provide a retrospective of his career, highlighting the transformation of Blue Note Records from an all-jazz label to the signing of multi-platinum artist Norah Jones. The event takes place Friday, February 23 at Berklee’s David Friend Recital Hall.

The annual James G. Zafris Distinguished Lecture Series for Music Business/ Management is Berklee's first endowed visiting lecture series, founded by the college's board of trustees in 1992 and named for James G. Zafris, founding member and longtime chair of the board. Zafris lecturers have included Destiny’s Child manager Matthew Knowles, former CBS Records head Walter Yetnikoff, award-winning producer Arif Mardin, Phoenix Media/Communications Group founder Stephen Mindich, and Hilary Rosen, then President and of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Over the past 43 years, Bruce Lundvall has signed a mind-boggling array of stylistically varied artists. Among them are Willie Nelson, Herbie Hancock, Phoebe Snow, Dexter Gordon, James Taylor, Peter Tosh, McCoy Tyner, Paquito D'Rivera, Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Stanley Jordan, Dianne Reeves, Rachelle Ferrell, Joe Lovano, Max Roach, Cassandra Wilson, and Norah Jones. His commitment to musical quality and diversity is reflected in the labels he heads: Blue Note Records (jazz), Angel Records (classical), and Manhattan Records (adult pop).

Lundvall started working at Columbia records soon after college, and stayed at the label for 21 years, holding positions including Vice President and General Manager, and President of the domestic division of CBS Records. In 1979, Lundvall conceived and directed the historic Havana Jam, the first Cuban concerts by American artists in two decades. In 1982, Lundvall became Senior Vice President of Elektra/Asylum. The next year, he became president of Elektra/Asylum/ Nonesuch, signing Howard Jones, Bill Laswell, and Ruben Blades. In 1984, Lundvall jumped at the opportunity to create the Manhattan label for EMI, as well as to revive the legendary Blue Note jazz label for re-issues and new releases. Today, Blue Note Records is the parent label for the Capitol Jazz, Pacific Jazz, and Roulette Jazz labels.

Lundvall’s awards and distinctions are numerous and include: Chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); Chairman of the Country Music Association (CMA); Director of the National Association of Recording Artists and Science (NARAS); Director of the T.H. Martell Foundation for Leukemia Research, the industry's most prestigious charity; and Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. In 1996, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Foundation of America. Lundvall has also earned three Grammy Award nominations and a NARM presidential award.

Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music was through the study and practice of contemporary music. For over 60 years, the college has evolved constantly to reflect the state of the art of music and the music business. With over a dozen performance and non-performance majors, a diverse and talented student body representing 70-plus countries, and a music industry "who's who" of alumni, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today - and tomorrow.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Bruce Lundvall
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