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Bruce Lundvall (September 13, 1935 – May 19, 2015) was an American record company executive, best known for his period as the President and CEO of the Blue Note Label Group, reporting directly to Eric Nicoli, the Chief Executive Officer of EMI Group.


In a career spanning half a century, Bruce Lundvall signed a wide array of artists, including Willie Nelson, Herbie Hancock, Dexter Gordon, Woody Shaw, James Taylor, Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Richard Marx, Natalie Cole, Cassandra Wilson, Anita Baker, and Norah Jones. He headed the following labels: Blue Note Records (jazz), Angel Records (classical), and Manhattan Records (adult pop).

Lundvall began his music career in marketing at Columbia Records where he remained for 21 years, becoming President of the domestic division of CBS Records in 1976. In the course of his tenure, he built Columbia's jazz roster into the largest of any major label.

In 1979, Bruce Lundvall organized and sponsored in Havana, Cuba, the Havana Jam festival that took place between 2–4 March, with Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Stephen Stills, the CBS Jazz All-Stars, the Trio of Doom, Fania All-Stars, Billy Swan, Bonnie Bramlett, Mike Finnigan, Weather Report, and Billy Joel, plus an array of Cuban artists such as Irakere, Pacho Alonso, Tata Güines, and Orquesta Aragón. Their performances are captured on Ernesto Juan Castellanos's documentary Havana Jam '79, and on the two Columbia albums Havana Jam and Havana Jam II.

Lundvall moved to Elektra in 1982, where he became President of Elektra Records and the newly created Elektra/Musician Jazz label.

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 suspended Blue Note jazz label. Lundvall accepted the challenge and steered the label for a quarter of a century. He was responsible for signing an unknown Norah Jones. Jones's debut Come Away With Me, and her subsequent albums, have sold in their millions internationally. Lundvall stood down as President of Blue Note in 2010. In January 2012, Don Was became President of Blue Note, having been appointed CEO the previous year, with Lundvall becoming Chairman Emeritus.[1]

Lundvall served as chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Chairman of the Country Music Association (CMA) and Director of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). He received three Grammy nominations and a NARM presidential award.[2] He was a member of the Jazz Foundation of America Board of Directors Advisory Committee.[3]

Lundvall died during surgery related to Parkinson's disease on May 19, 2015, in New Jersey. He was survived by his wife, Kay Lundvall, three sons and two grand-daughters.[4]



  1. ^ Chinen, Nate (May 2, 2012). "Exuberance Is Just One of His Skills". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ EMI Press Release, Dec. 6, 2004
  3. ^ jazzfoundation.org. 2009-05-11. URL: http://www.jazzfoundation.org/Gala_Sponsorship_Packages.pdf. Accessed: 2009-05-11. (Archived by jazzfoundation.org at http://www.jazzfoundation.org/Gala_Sponsorship_Packages.pdf)
  4. ^ "Bruce Lundvall, Blue Note Records Veteran, Beloved Jazz Executive, Dead at 79". Billboard. 
  5. ^ Gershwin Awards, UCLA, 2012

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37625 news items

Ultimate Classic Rock

Ultimate Classic Rock
Sun, 24 May 2015 08:33:45 -0700

Bruce Lundvall, who spent 50 years in the music industry, died on May 19 in a hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., from complications of Parkinson's disease. He was 79. According to the Washington Post, Lundvall got his start in 1960 when he took an entry ...

New York Times

New York Times
Wed, 20 May 2015 17:23:01 -0700

Bruce Lundvall, a record executive whose 25-year run at the helm of Blue Note, preceded by top positions at CBS and Elektra, made him one of the most influential figures behind the scenes in recent jazz history, died on Tuesday in Ridgewood, N.J. He ...


Wed, 20 May 2015 13:15:00 -0700

Tuesday's concert began hours after the news of the death of Bruce Lundvall, 79, the longtime president of Blue Note Records, who signed Jones to his label, where she released debut album Come Away With Me in 2002. The following year, Jones won five ...

Legacy.com (blog)

Legacy.com (blog)
Wed, 20 May 2015 18:18:37 -0700

Bruce Lundvall. 1935 - 2015 | Obituary | Condolences. Bruce Lundvall (AP Photo / Seth Wenig, File). Share. ADD A MEMORY OR CONDOLENCE TO THE GUEST BOOK. Enter Message Here. UPLOAD PHOTOS; ADD A VIDEO; LIGHT A CANDLE. SEND

Huffington Post (satire)

Huffington Post (satire)
Tue, 26 May 2015 10:26:15 -0700

In the melancholic aftermath of the recent deaths of record industry giants Stan Cornyn (The Coast/Warner Bros.) and Bruce Lundvall (The Apple/CBS, Blue Note), I was drawn to The Hiptionary, a boss tome penned in 1963 by RCA Records publicist Elliot ...

France Musique

Les Inrocks
Wed, 20 May 2015 07:37:30 -0700

Disparu le 19 mai à l'âge de 79 ans, l'Américain Bruce Lundvall avait repris les rênes du légendaire label Blue Note il y a 30 ans, jusqu'au début des années 2010. Et il avait surtout permis la renaissance de Blue Note. Créé à New York en 1939 par ...

Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen

Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen
Thu, 21 May 2015 02:56:15 -0700

Der US-amerikanische Musikproduzent Bruce Lundvall leitete 25 Jahre das Label Blue Note. In seiner Karriere nahm er zahlreiche Musiker unter Vertrag, die dann grosse Karriere machten. Unter anderem Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis oder Norah Jones ...

RTV Slovenija

RTV Slovenija
Thu, 21 May 2015 12:18:45 -0700

Poslovil se je Bruce Lundvall, ena najbolj priljubljenih oseb v glasbeni industriji. Kot nekdanji vodja založbe Blue Note pa velja za eno najpomembnejših oseb v svetu džeza, čeprav se ni uveljavljal kot glasbenik. Lundvall se je razglašal za neuspešnega ...

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