Musician, songwriter and Grammy Award-winning producer Don Was has been named Chief Creative Officer of EMI’s Blue Note Records label, the label announced today.
Was, who has produced records for artists including Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Ziggy Marley, Lucinda Williams, Al Green, B.B. King and the Rolling Stones, will work closely with EMI Music’s frontline A&R team including President of Capitol & Virgin Labels Group Dan McCarroll and President of Blue Note & Manhattan Ian Ralfini, to identify and develop creative talent for the legendary imprint, the statement said. Was will also produce a number of records by Blue Note artists.
Was received a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year in 1994. He also co-founded the avant-funk group Was (Not Was) in 1979; the group was most active during the 1980s. Was is currently in the studio with John Mayer, working on the singer-songwriter’s fifth studio album.
Don Was said in a statement: “It’s a profound honor to be a part of this legendary company alongside such prodigious record men as Dan and Ian. We dedicate ourselves to furthering Blue Note’s artistic tradition of unbridled creativity, talent, intelligence and GROOVE!”
Dan McCarroll commented: “Don Was has been one of the most talented and in-demand producers for more than twenty years, and his involvement with Blue Note will ensure that we remain at the very top of our creative game. I can’t wait for him to get started and to bring his magic to the label.”
Ian Ralfini said: “Blue Note has such incredible history, and I’m very happy that we can welcome Don Was to the label to help us write the next chapter. This appointment demonstrates our strong commitment to building on Blue Note’s remarkable musical legacy.”
Blue Note Records was founded in 1939, and its current roster includes Norah Jones, Amos Lee, Jeff Bridges, Keren Ann, Robert Glasper, Bill Charlap, Joe Lovano, Priscilla Ahn and Jason Moran.