UMG Creates Verve Label Group, Danny Bennett to Lead

Kelsey Bennett
Danny Bennett

Universal Music Group (UMG) has realigned some of its most prestigious jazz and classical properties under the newly-formed Verve Label Group and appointed industry veteran Danny Bennett as its president and CEO.

Bennett, a Grammy and Emmy Award-winning music, film and television producer, and long-time manager of his father, the celebrated singer Tony Bennett, assumes leadership of Verve Label Group with immediate effect.  

The Verve Label Group will gather Verve and UMG’s U.S. classical music labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca Records, Decca Classics, Mercury Classics, and distributed label ECM. According to a statement issued today, the labels will maintain distinct A&R, marketing and promotions teams, while also “leveraging UMG’s global reach to provide artists with deep resources and expertise to develop their careers.”

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With Bennett at the helm, Verve will relocate to New York, where the label was established 60 years ago as the label home to such jazz greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz and Billie Holiday. In his new role, Bennett will be tasked with expanding the awareness and reach of UMG’s jazz and classical catalog, and develop and promote emerging artists worldwide. Meanwhile, award-winning record producer David Foster has decided to return full-time to producing and will leave the Verve label he has run since 2012.

“By forming the Verve Label Group and attracting an industry veteran of Danny’s stature and expertise, Universal Music is making a strong statement about the high value we place on building on our robust jazz and classical repertoire,” comments Michele Anthony, executive VP of UMG, to whom Bennett reports. “We are committed to growing our presence in these genres even further and creating crossover successes that deliver artists to new audiences around the world.”

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Dickon Stainer, president and CEO of Global Classics for UMG, will announce shortly a president of Verve Label Group’s classical music labels.