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Concord Records


Label history

Concord Records is an American record label, now based in Beverly Hills, California. Originally known as Concord Jazz, it was established in 1972 as an offshoot of the Concord Jazz Festival in Concord, California, by festival founder Carl Jefferson, a local automobile dealer and jazz fan who sold his Lincoln Mercury dealership to found "the jazz label I can never find in record stores." Since then, the label has achieved international recognition, as well as 88 Grammy Award nominations and 14 Grammy Awards.

The label issues a large number of live recordings from festivals and other venues, including a series started in 1990 of piano recitals from Maybeck Recital Hall in Berkeley, California, by many well known jazz pianists. The original Concord Jazz logo, a stylized eighth note incorporating the C and J of "Concord Jazz," was created by Bay Area graphic designer Dan Buck, who also worked on several album covers for the company.

Concord includes a family of specialized labels, including Concord Picante for Latin Jazz and Concord Concerto for classical music. They also include The Jazz Alliance, founded around 1990 to issue programs from Marian McPartland's radio broadcast Piano Jazz, which later recorded sessions by others.

In 1999, Concord Records was purchased by a consortium led by Hal Gaba and his longtime associate, television producer Norman Lear, and moved its offices in 2002 from Concord to Beverly Hills. Its catalog was greatly enhanced in 2004 with the purchase of Fantasy Records, bringing to Concord diverse music from Fantasy-owned labels such as Prestige, Stax and Specialty. The company resulting from the merger came to be known as Concord Music Group. That same year, Concord first partnered with Starbucks to release Ray Charles’s Genius Loves Company – which won 8 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.

On December 19, 2005, it was announced that the group had purchased Telarc Records and its subsidiary Heads Up, in a deal whose terms have not been divulged.

In 2007, Concord started the Hear Music label in association with Starbucks, signing such artists as Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, John Mellencamp, Carly Simon and Elvis Costello. Although Starbucks ceased to be an active partner a year later, Concord kept Hear as a going concern, having a Top 5 album in 2010 with Carole King and James Taylor's Live at the Troubadour.

In 2008, Village Roadshow Pictures Group (VRPG) and Concord Records parent company Concord Music Group completed their merger resulting in the creation of the new diversified entertainment group, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.

Kenny G signed to Concord in early 2008, Herb Alpert in early 2009. On June 5, 2009, Dave Koz signed to Concord.

Concord parent company Concord Music Group purchased Rounder Records in 2010.

In 2010, it was announced that Paul McCartney's solo and Wings catalog will be globally distributed by Concord parent company Concord Music Group

In March 2013, Wood Creek Capital led investor group purchased Concord Music Group from Village Entertainment.

In July 2013, Shayne Pilpel became the only electronic music artist signed to this label.

In December 2015, R.E.M. announced that they would transfer their Warner Bros. Records recordings from 1988 to 2001 to Concord Records.

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