Blue Note spearheads 80th Anniversary Year with major vinyl series, live shows and film

The iconic Blue Note label will celebrate its milestone 80th birthday in 2019, with a year-long spree of activity including two major vinyl-led release campaigns, alongside new artist albums, live dates and film screenings.

Founded in 1939 by Francis Wolff and Alfred Lion, the label’s catalogue is one of the most celebrated and sought after in jazz history. Extraordinarily, following the retirement of its long-time boss Bruce Lundvall in 2015, its future could have been in jeopardy. Current president, Don Was, revealed in a recent interview with Forbes magazine: “There was some talk about making it a website that just sold catalogue and Blue Note t-shirts.”

This was before Was serendipitously had a breakfast meeting with Capital Records President Dan MacCarroll, who, following Was’ suggestion that Capital sign Gregory Porter, offered him the Blue Note role. Taking the helm since 2012, Was has ushered in a fresh approach embracing the label’s illustrious past, while creating a vital, forward-looking present. He’s spearheading the 80th anniversary year with the Tone Poet 180g Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, which will initially include 18 titles spanning albums by Hank Mobley and Cassandra Wilson, as well as 36 titles in a Blue Note 80 series of mid-price vinyl releases with themes such as Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live and Drummer Leaders.

Plans also include festival showings and a theatrical run (plus a DVD release) for Sophie Huber’s film Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes. There will also be special programming for the Blue Note at Sea Cruises, plus a US autumn tour for a Blue Note 80 triple bill featuring emerging stars Kandace Springs and James Francies, alongside the newly-signed sax firebrand James Carter

Mike Flynn

For more full details visit www.bluenote.com

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