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“It is an honor to have these inspiring, passionate and experienced music men within the EMI Music family."
—-Elio Leoni-Sceti, EMI Music

RALFINI IN AT BLUE NOTE/MANHATTAN, LUNDVALL NAMED CHAIRMAN EMERITUS

Moves Mark Changing of the Guard at EMI Labels
Bruce Lundvall, who has been at the helm of EMI’s legendary jazz label Blue Note for 25 years, is stepping down from day-to-day responsibilities at the label to become Chairman Emeritus, where he’ll have input in A&R and product development.

Industry veteran Ian Ralfini, who has been GM/SVP of EMI’s Manhattan Records since 2001, becomes President of the Blue Note and Manhattan labels and will oversee all of their day-to-day operations, including A&R and marketing.

Established in Jan. 1939, Blue Note is regarded as the world’s premiere and longest-running jazz label. Its current roster includes some of the leading new talents in the genre, such as Patricia Barber, Bill Charlap, Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, Jason Moran, Aaron Parks, Dianne Reeves, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Cassandra Wilson. It’s also the home for diverse artists like Priscilla Ahn, Anita Baker, Al Green, Amos Lee, Willie Nelson, Kristina Train and the bird and the bee.   Blue Note is also home to Norah Jones, whose 2002 debut, Come Away With Me, was the third best-selling album of the last decade in the U.S., and whose career sales have just surpassed 40 million worldwide.

Lundvall will continue to work in finding and developing artists.  He will also consult on product and catalog development related to Blue Note’s vast jazz repertoire, which includes such icons as Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Art Blakey, Jimmy Smith, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Donald Byrd and Ornette Coleman.

Through his association with Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun and as head of WEA U.K., Ralfini has been involved in the careers of superstars including Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart and the Faces, Pete Townshend, Alice Cooper, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Van Morrison, the Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, the Rolling Stones, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Judy Collins and the Doors.  He will be based in N.Y. and will report to EMI’s President for New Music in North America and the U.K. Nick Gatfield and on a regional basis to EMI Music President N.A. Colin Finkelstein

“It is an honor to have these inspiring, passionate and experienced music men within the EMI Music family,” said EMI Music CEO Elio Leoni-Sceti.  “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. 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.”

 

The British-born Ralfini joined EMI in 2001 to re-launch the Manhattan label with the late, legendary producer Arif Marden. He was also President of WEA U.K. and music supervisor on soundtracks for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Far from the Madding Crowd, Dr. Zhivago and, with Herbie Hancock, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up. He also owned the U.S. label Shelter, whose roster included Tom Petty, Phoebe Snow and Leon Russell. During his tenure at Manhattan Records, Ralfini has worked closely with artists such as Sarah Brightman, Celtic Woman, Van Morrison, Art Garfunkel, Anne Murray, Diana Ross and Rosanne Cash, whose latest release, The List, has been one of the most critical and commercial successes of her career. Ralfini served as President of the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Foundation for 18 years, raising in excess of $20 million to support a clinic for disabled children at NYU. He is currently on the advisory Board of the Skirball Theatre at NYU. 


Lundvall is a 50-year veteran of the music business whose signings over the year Willie Nelson, Herbie Hancock, Phoebe Snow, Dexter Gordon, James Taylor, Peter Tosh, Return to Forever, McCoy Tyner, Paquito D'Rivera, Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Steps Ahead, Ruben Blades, Stanley Jordan, Dianne Reeves, Rachelle Ferrell, Joe Lovano, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Max Roach, Cassandra Wilson, Jacky Terrasson and Norah Jones. He joined Columbia Records right out of college at Bucknell University, and stayed there for 21 years, rising from VP Marketing to VP/GM to President of the CBS Records domestic division in 1976. He moved to Elektra in 1982 as President of the newly created Elektra/Musician label, SVP at Elektra/Asylum and then President of Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch, signing Howard Jones, Bill Laswell, Steel Pulse and Ruben Blades.

In 1984, he was approached with an offer to create Manhattan, a pop music label based on the East Coast, for EMI, as well as to revive the legendary Blue Note jazz label.  The first artist Lundvall signed was Stanley Jordan, whose Magic Touch reached #1 on the jazz charts, went gold and stayed on the charts for 52 weeks. In 2001, he signed Norah Jones after meeting her in his office and listening to her demo recording. Together with Lundvall and Blue Note, Jones has gone on to become one of the decade’s biggest selling artists, with more than 40 million albums sold and nine Grammy awards. 

Lundvall has been Chairman of the RIAA, CMA and NARAS, as well as Director of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia Research. In 1996, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Foundation of America. He has earned three Grammy nominations and a NARM presidential award.

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