Jazz at Lincoln Center Launches Blue Engine Records
New York, NY – June 30, 2015 – Jazz at Lincoln Center, dedicated to entertaining, enriching and expanding a global community for jazz through performance, education and advocacy, today announced the formation of
Blue Engine Records, a new platform to make its vast archive of recorded concerts available to jazz audiences everywhere. The label will release new studio and live recordings as well as archival recordings from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s performance history, which date back to 1987 and are part of the R. Theodore Ammon Archives and Music Library.
From the institution’s founding in 1987, each year’s programming was conceived and developed by Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis with a vision to build a comprehensive library of iconic and wide-ranging compositions that taken together, make up a canon of music. By including each new set of songs as part of that year’s concert season, the organization was able to create accurate, complete charts for each composition and often commission new arrangements. Coupled with consistently well-executed and recorded music performed by Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, this archive has grown to include thousands of songs from hundreds of concert dates.
The launch of Blue Engine is aligned with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s efforts to cultivate existing jazz fans worldwide and turn new audiences onto jazz. Blue Engine will be operated as a part of JALC’s Brand and Audience Development department, which is managed by Gabrielle Armand. Blue Engine releases will offer JALC’s growing global audience, now at over one million jazz fans, opportunities to engage with the institution’s music where they are and how they want.
Jazz at Lincoln Center has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with RED Distribution for physical distribution in the U.S. and global digital distribution of all Blue Engine releases. RED’s ‘*stache media*, a full-service marketing company, will provide additional support.
“Bringing our growing archive of music to people all over the world has been one of our most important institutional objectives. With Blue Engine, we’re excited to make this archive available and also provide opportunities for some of the fantastic jazz musicians that continue to emerge,” said Marsalis. “We will make decades of incredible performances from great musicians in the studio and in our halls available in a variety of formats. For years, audience members and fans online have asked, ‘where can we get this?’ Now, people who love this type of music will have something exciting, fresh and new to look forward to and to support. The recordings manifest one of our most progressive principles: whether it’s Kid Ory or Sherman Irby, ‘all jazz is modern.’”
“RED Distribution is thrilled to be in business with Jazz at Lincoln Center and Blue Engine Records,” said RED Distribution President Bob Morelli. “The combination of these amazing recordings with RED’s unique ‘stache media services will lead to exciting commercial breakthroughs for both of us.”
The first release from Blue Engine, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis’ Live in Cuba, will be released on August 21, 2015 and is available now for pre-order on iTunes iTunes.com/BlueEngineRecords.
Live in Cuba captures the world-renowned big band’s dazzling first and only performances in Cuba. Recorded in front of clamorous, sold-out crowds over three nights at Havana’s Mella Theatre in October 2010, Live in Cuba finds the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra exploring the profound connections between American jazz and Afro-Cuban music, from bebop to bolero and beyond. Live in Cuba is a document of two nations’ indelible cultural connections, of a journey into uncharted musical territory, and of some of the world’s most virtuosic musicians sharing a stage.
In addition to being made commercially available, Blue Engine’s releases and ancillary music (such as alternate takes), photos, video and more will also be used in JALC’s efforts to continue to build and engage its global audience. JALC recently achieved a significant milestone when the audience who regularly connects to the organization via social media (or directly through JALC’s online platform at jazz.org) surpassed one million people.
Blue Engine is the latest in a series of initiatives launched in recent years that build on JALC’s commitment to entertaining, enriching and expanding a global community for jazz by bringing its performances, educational programs and content beyond its physical venues. Other initiatives include its well-received webcasts, whereby hundreds of free HD audio and multi-camera live webcasts on Livestream and jazz.org a new radio product, “*Jazz Night In America*” (co-produced with NPR Music and WBGO); an expanding slate of video web series published on JALC’s YouTube channel, Facebook page and jazz.org; a growing library of over 600 performance videos available globally and for free through JALC’s education portal, academy.jazz.org among other offerings that provide tools, content and connections for fans, artists, music teachers, jazz scholars, and jazz advocates around the world. Additional initiatives remain under development.
About RED Distribution
RED, an award-winning division of Sony Music Entertainment, headquartered in New York City, is widely recognized as the industry leader in music distribution and artist development. RED specializes in digital and physical sales, digital and retail marketing, DTC, radio promotion and product development for more than 60 independent record labels, as well as artists from Sony owned labels and Sony joint ventures with Descendant Records, Ultra Records, Red Bow Records and RED Associated Labels (RAL). RED’s marketing outreach is unsurpassed in generating consumer awareness for artists, labels and brand partners. In 2009, RED launched ‘stache media, a full service marketing agency specializing in music to support RED releases and artists. ‘stache media’s expert staff provides marketing services in online marketing & publicity, college lifestyle marketing, advertising & consumer research, brand & partnership marketing, radio, video promotion, licensing, P.O.P. on demand manufacturing and creative production. Sony Music Entertainment’s joint venture with The Orchard has expanded RED’s reach into international as well as domestic markets.
For more information on Blue Engine Records, visit blueenginerecords.org