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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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1063 videos foundNext > 

Bruce Lundvall acceptance speech at Special Merit Awards

Bruce Lundvall acceptance speech at Special Merits Awards Get More from the GRAMMYs: Follow GRAMMYs: https://twitter.com/TheGRAMMYs Like ...

An Interview iwth Bruce Lundvall: former President of EMI's Blue Note Label Group

In this clip from www.artistshousemusic.org - Bruce Lundvall,former CEO of Blue Note Records, talks about his life and the life of a record industry executive.

Jazz Conversations Part Two

Bruce Lundvall and Michael Cuscuna discuss the jazz artists they regard as their heroes.

Jason Moran - Bruce Lundvall: Playing By Ear

An exclusive preview of an interview with Jason Moran from Dan Ouellette's Bruce Lundvall: Playing By Ear fan-funded ArtistShare Project. Join this project ...

Wynton Marsalis - Bruce Lundvall: Playing By Ear

An exclusive preview of an interview with Wynton Marsalis from Dan Ouellette's Bruce Lundvall: Playing By Ear fan-funded ArtistShare Project. Join this project ...

Norah Jones - Tribute to Bruce Lundvall HD

Norah thanks!, for your music, talent and infinite beauty ... www.facebook.com/elviudodenorah elviudodenorah@gmail.com Argentina Fans Club.

Herbie Hancock - Bruce Lundvall: Playing by Ear

An exclusive preview of an interview with Herbie Hancock from Bruce Lundvall: Playing By Ear by Dan Ouellette. An ArtistShare fan-funded project. Join this ...

Cassandra Wilson - Bruce Lundvall: Playing By Ear

An exclusive preview of an interview with Cassandra Wilson from Dan Ouellette's Bruce Lundvall: Playing By Ear fan-funded ArtistShare Project. Join this project ...

Ruben Blades - The Bruce Lundvall Project: Playing by Ear

Ruben Blades speaks about Bruce Lundvall. Join this fan-funded ArtistShare project today: http://www.artistshare.com/playingbyear.

Paquito D'rivera - Bruce Lundvall: Playing by Ear

Paquito D'rivera talks about Bruce Lundvall. Join this project today: http://www.artistshare.com/playingbyear.

1063 videos foundNext > 

617 news items


Thu, 21 May 2015 14:22:30 -0700

It's with a heavy heart that I write about the passing of our courageous friend and Blue Note Records chairman emeritus and longtime president, Bruce Lundvall. He was a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life human being whose joie de vivre was ...

The Jazz Line

Washington Post
Thu, 21 May 2015 10:50:44 -0700

Bruce Lundvall, the music executive who revived the iconic Blue Note Records label in the mid-1980s and turned it into a major influence on the contemporary jazz scene during his 25 years as president, died May 19 at a hospital in n Ridgewood, N.J. He ...


Wed, 20 May 2015 13:21:21 -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 ...

New York Observer

New York Observer
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:03:45 -0700

In spite of the embargo, U.S. and Cuban musicians and individuals have found ways to travel to each other's country. When travel restrictions lapsed under President Carter, Bruce Lundvall of CBS organized a concert in Havana that featured Billy Joel ...

Legacy.com (blog)

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

Bruce Lundvall. 1935 - 2015 | Obituary | Condolences | Gallery. 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.

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:38:33 -0700

He was a regular sight in the jazz clubs of Manhattan. Tall gentleman in glasses. Pinstriped suit. Neatly trimmed white beard. Often seated with business associates, but quiet, eyes trained on the stage. This was Bruce Lundvall, president of Blue Note ...


Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:33:45 -0700

Bruce Lundvall had rare degrees of both vision and integrity as a record company executive, not a big deal unless you know that the total number of such executives over the past century barely reaches two figures. Lenore Travis, one of the first women ...

Times of Malta

Times of Malta
Mon, 13 Jul 2015 05:00:00 -0700

“One of them is definitely founding Irakere 40, and the other was meeting Bruce Lundvall, the then-president of CBS, who helped make the group known all over the world!” Irakere, which was co-founded by Valdés with music director and composer Armando ...

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