In addition to the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy presents Special Merit Awards recognizing contributions of significance to the recording field, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award. Each year, The Academy invites friends and colleagues of Special Merit Awards recipients to pay tribute to the honorees' career accomplishments, while also adding colorful anecdotes and personal accounts. In the days leading up to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY.com will present the tributes to the 12 Special Merit Awards recipients for 2011.
Bruce Lundvall, a music powerhouse, is the heart and soul of jazz. His lifetime dedication and devotion to jazz, coupled with his expert ability in orchestrating all facets of Blue Note Records, have bestowed upon the world a priceless gift — some of the greatest music ever created.
His stalwart support for the master musicians who have been fortunate to work with him has been instrumental in the continuation and development of modern jazz because, to Bruce, the music and the artists are paramount.
My gratitude to Bruce is immense because he was responsible for events that became cornerstones in my life's work and passions. He has championed my music, whether he was involved in the production or was just cheering me on from the sidelines. Bruce played a crucial role in advancing my career when he brought me to Clive Davis at Columbia Records. They released Head Hunters in 1973, a pivotal recording for me, and a defining moment in jazz fusion. And, it was Bruce who suggested me to the iconic film director, Bertrand Tavernier, to create the score for the film 'Round Midnight, for which I subsequently won an Oscar.
For almost five decades Bruce has steered the music world by shepherding a plethora of jazz, pop, Latin, and country icons into successful recording careers. He can identify emerging artists destined for success, like Norah Jones, or champion a gifted musician who is worthy of respect and wider attention, exemplified by his recent signing of the gifted guitarist Lionel Loueke.
His stable of past and present artists reads like a musical history book: Willie Nelson, Natalie Cole, Dexter Gordon, James Taylor, McCoy Tyner, Paquito D'Rivera, Stan Getz, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Rubén Blades, Stanley Jordan, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Max Roach, Cassandra Wilson, Phoebe Snow, Bob James, Rosanne Cash, Toto, and Stephen Stills, to name a few. Whew!
And, I am proud and greatly honored to be a member of his extraordinary musical family.
Bruce has received numerous awards from his peers, and has been praised for his charity work and his lifetime service to world culture. Receiving the Trustees Award from The Recording Academy adds a prestigious accolade to his long list of achievements.
(Twelve-time GRAMMY recipient Herbie Hancock took home the Album Of The Year GRAMMY in 2007 for River: The Joni Letters. He won the Original Score Oscar in 1986 for 'Round Midnight. He is nominated for three GRAMMY Awards this year for his work on The Imagine Project.)
This Special Merit Award is presented by vote of The Recording Academy's National Trustees to individuals who, during their careers in music, have made contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording. The Trustees Award was established in 1967. To view a complete list of Trustees Award recipients, click here.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Julie Andrews, Roy Haynes, Juilliard String Quartet, The Kingston Trio, Dolly Parton, Ramones, George Beverly Shea
Trustees Award: Al Bell, Wilma Cozart Fine
Technical GRAMMY Award: Roger Linn, Waves Audio Ltd.