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Los Angeles Based Independent Jazz Label, BFM Jazz, Wins Five Grammys

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BFM JAZZ is a boutique record label based in Los Angeles that garnered six Grammy nominations and turned them into five wins this past Sunday. In the company’s brief, nine-year existence, they’ve put out 27 projects that have accumulated 17 nominations collectively. In 2018, BFM Jazz released just three projects. All three received nominations and all three brought home Grammy statuettes.

Trumpet master John Daversa won awards in three categories: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Best Improvised Jazz Solo, and Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella. His recording, American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom, features the John Daversa Big Band and more than 53 young Americans from 17 states who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Early Arrivals (DACA) program.

Steve Gadd Band, led by legendary drummer Steve Gadd won in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category for his eponymous Steve Gadd Band release. The band also received a GRAMMY nomination in 2016 for the group's prior BFM Jazz release Way Back Home: Live From Rochester, NY (2017).

Pianist/Composer/Arranger Randy Waldman received an award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for his SuperHeroes album. The recording features a long list of GRAMMY-winning musical guest stars, including Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Arturo Sandoval, George Benson, and Take 6. Waldman previously won a GRAMMY for co-arranging “Somewhere" on Barbra Streisand's The Broadway Album in 1985.

BFM Jazz comprises just three owners-operators- Michele Ito, Steven Weber and Steve Corn. With impeccable taste in music and considerable business acumen, they have assembled a small roster of 16 artists who are widely considered to be some of the top jazz players in the country. Other GRAMMY winners and nominees on their label include Tierney Sutton, Steve Smith, Larry Goldings and Lenny White.

BFM Jazz is an off-shoot of one of the few formative digital distributors, BFM Digital launched by Corn and Weber in 2004. The Founders, who are both musicians and Jazz fans, saw a need for independent jazz artists to have a home and started BFM Jazz in 2010 with Michele Ito spearheading the effort.

Most of the BFM Jazz artists are in it for the long haul. Randy Waldman is new to the label, but John Daversa has now produced five albums for the company, and the Steve Gadd Band has recorded and released four.

With five Grammy wins this year, BFM Jazz has joined the ranks of major players in Jazz.

This story appears courtesy of Mouthpiece Music.
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