Bruce Lundvall, President of Blue Note Records has passed away, by complications from Parkinson’s disease. Lundvall, born in New Jersey in 1935 had a strong passion for bebop-artists like Clifford Brown and Charlie Parker. He got addicted to jazz as an underage teenager in New York City and took an entry level marketing job at Columbia Records in 1960.
He started leading the North American division of the label, and signed artists like Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis & Willie Nelson untill EMI Records offered him a job to revive Blue Note Records. There he brought back Jimmy Smith, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson & Jackie McLean, and signed new artists like Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Michel Petrucciani, John Scofield, Charlie Hunter and Medeski Martin & Wood. Lundvall also signed names like Bobby McFerrin, Us3, Norah Jones, Al Green and Amos Lee, and recorded some of the most important jazz artists of our time including Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, Jason Moran, Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire, Don Pullen, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Terence Blanchard, Jacky Terrasson, and many others.
Bruce Lundvall received amongst others the 2011 GRAMMY Trustees Award and the Jazz Foundation of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, is the namesake of the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Bruce Lundvall Award as well as JazzTimes magazine’s Bruce Lundvall Visionary Award, and was universally loved and trusted.
Bruce is survived by his wife, three sons and two grandchildren. Bruce Lundvall died at 79 and will be missed.