Norman Granz (August 6, 1918 in Los Angeles, USA – November 22, 2001 in Geneva, Switzerland) was an American jazz music impresario and producer.
Granz was a fundamental figure in American jazz, especially from about 1947 to 1960. He was the founder of five record labels: Clef, Norgran, Down Home, Verve and Pablo.
Life and career
Born in Los Angeles, the son of Jewish immigrants from Tiraspol, he first emerged into the public view when he organised desegregated jam sessions at the Trouville Club in Los Angeles, which he later expanded when he staged a memorable concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles on July 2, 1944, under the heading of "Jazz at the Philharmonic".
The title of the concert, "Jazz Concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium", had been shortened by the printer of the advertising supplements to "Jazz at the Philharmonic". Only one copy of the very first concert program is known to exist. Norman Granz had organised the first Jazz at the Philharmonic concert with about $300 of borrowed money.
Later known as JATP, the ever-changing group recorded and toured extensively, with Granz producing some of the first live jam session recordings to be distributed to a wide market.
After several JATP concerts in Los Angeles (In 1944 and 1945), Granz began producing JATP concert tours — from late fall/winter of 1945-46 to 1957 in USA and Canada, and from 1952 in Europe. Those featured Swing and Bop musicians and were among the first high-profile performances to feature racially integrated bands. Granz actually cancelled some bookings rather than have the musicians perform for segregated audiences. He recorded many of the JATP concerts, and from 1945 to 1947 sold/leased the recordings to Asch/Disc/Stinson Records (record producer Moses Asch's labels). in 1948 Granz signed an agreement with Mercury Records for the promotion and the distribution of the JATP recordings and other recordings. After the agreement expired in 1953 he issued the JATP recordings and other recordings on Clef Records (founded 1946) and Norgran Records (founded 1953). Down Home Records was meant to be reserved for traditional jazz works.
Tours - USA and Canada (1945–1957):
1st National Tour: Late Fall/Winter of 1945-46. 2nd National Tour: Spring, 1946. 3rd National Tour: Fall, 1946. 4th National Tour: Spring, 1947. 5th National Tour: Fall, 1947. 6th National Tour: Spring, 1948. 7th National Tour: Fall, 1948. 8th National Tour: Spring, 1949. 9th National Tour: Fall, 1949. 10th National Tour: Fall, 1950. 11th National Tour: Fall, 1951. 12th National Tour: Fall, 1952. 13th National Tour (USA, Canada, Hawaii, Australia and Japan): Fall, 1953. 14th National Tour: Fall, 1954. 16th National Tour (Note: the 15th National Tour, in the fall of 1955, was renamed: 16th National Tour, just weeks before the start of the JATP Tour): Fall, 1955. 17th National Tour: Fall, 1956. 18th National Tour: Fall, 1957.
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