NEW YORK (Hypebot) –
Bruce Lundvall, who has been at the helm of Blue Note for the past 25 years, is stepping away from day to day operations. Ian Ralfini, who has been GM and SVP of EMI’s Manhattan Records since 2001, becomes President of the Blue Note and Manhattan labels and will oversee their day-to-day operations including A&R and marketing.
Lundvall has been appointed Chairman Emeritus of the storied jazz label, where he will continue to play an A&R and product development role, as well as, consult on product and catalog development related to Blue Note’s vast jazz repertoire.
A Bit Of Blue Note History –
Since its very first recording session on January 6, 1939, Blue Note has grown from a small independent label to become one of the world’s premiere and longest-running Jazz label. Today, Blue Note boasts a legendary catalog as well as a current Jazz roster that keeps the tradition going, including Patricia Barber, Bill Charlap Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, Jason Moran, Aaron Parks, Dianne Reeves, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Cassandra Wilson.
The label also tastefully broadened its music pallet beyond jazz to include such acclaimed artists as Priscilla Ahn, Anita Baker, Al Green, Amos Lee, Willie Nelson, Kristina Train and the bird and the bee. In addition, Blue Note is home to Norah Jones, whose 2002 debut “Come Away With Me” was the third best-selling album of the last decade in the US, and whose career sales have just surpassed 40 million worldwide.
“It is an honor to have these inspiring, passionate and experienced music men within the EMI Music family,” said Elio Leoni-Sceti, CEO of EMI Music. “Bruce has built the Blue Note name into one of the world’s most respected brands in music, home to artists who earn both critical and commercial success. And in Ian, we have someone who has a wonderful ability to recognize and develop artistic talent, and to continue leading Blue Note as a label that stands for quality globally.”
“Bruce has done a remarkable job in making Blue Note a true home for a wide range of amazing talent. After an extraordinary 50-year career in music, and 25 of them at Blue Note, we are delighted he will continue to focus on what he loves best: discovering and nurturing top musical talent and continuing the legacy of the finest name in Jazz,” said Gatfield. “No one knows the treasure trove that is Blue Note better than Bruce, and no one is better suited to introduce such an amazing array of material to new generations of music fans.”
“One of Bruce’s best decisions was to bring Ian to EMI to re-launch the Manhattan label back in 2001. Ian is an impressive, creative and energetic music man who is tuned into the core adult audiences that Blue Note and Manhattan serve,” said Gatfield. “He has a holistic understanding of everything that makes a great label, he has a keen grasp of what artists need and great instincts and vision that will help them build their careers. The close collaboration that Ian and Bruce have had for many years will make for a smooth transition.”
“I am extremely honored to continue the amazing legacy that Bruce has established at Blue Note and to build upon the terrific adult pop roster we have at Manhattan,” said Ralfini. “It’s a great privilege to work with such a terrific roster of artists, and to provide the best resources, the best team and the best possible creative home for musical talent.”
“I have the best job in music,” said Lundvall. “I’ll be focused on the music and plus have the opportunity to bring the best of Blue Note to new generations. Ian is the perfect man to run the show.”