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Mardin at the Grammy Awards, February 1990
|Born||March 15, 1932|
|Died||June 25, 2006 74) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Music producer, arranger|
Arif Mardin (March 15, 1932 – June 25, 2006) was a Turkish-American music producer, who worked with hundreds of artists across many different styles of music, including jazz, rock, soul, disco and country. He worked at Atlantic Records for over 30 years, as producer, arranger, studio manager, and vice president, before moving to EMI and serving as vice president and general manager of Manhattan Records. His collaborations include working with Queen, the Bee Gees, Hall & Oates, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Donny Hathaway & Roberta Flack, Bette Midler, Chaka Khan, Laura Nyro, Phil Collins, Daniel Rodriguez, and Norah Jones. Mardin was awarded eleven Grammy Awards.
Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown, Atlantic and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul also became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa.
Mardin was born in Istanbul into a renowned family that included statesmen, diplomats and leaders in the civic, military and business sectors of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic. His father was co-owner in a petroleum gas station chain.
Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosporus strait between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives in suburbs on the Asian side of the Bosporus. With a total population of around 15 million residents in its metropolitan area, Istanbul is one of the world's most populous cities, ranking as the world's fourth largest city proper and the largest European city. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Istanbul is viewed as a bridge between the East and West.
The Ottoman Empire, also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.
Mardin grew up listening to the likes of Bing Crosby and Glenn Miller. Through his sister he met jazz critic Cuneyt Sermet, who turned him onto this music and eventually became his mentor. After graduating from Istanbul University in Economics and Commerce, Mardin studied at the London School of Economics. Influenced by his sister's music records and jazz, he was also an accomplished orchestrator and arranger, but he never intended to pursue a career in music.
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. The first multimedia star, Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses from 1931 to 1954. His early career coincided with recording innovations that allowed him to develop an intimate singing style that influenced many male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine said that he was "the person who had done the most for the morale of overseas servicemen" during World War II. In 1948, American polls declared him the "most admired man alive", ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. Also in 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.
Alton Glenn Miller was an American big-band trombonist, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best-known big bands. Miller's recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", "(I've Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", "Elmer's Tune", and "Little Brown Jug". In just four years Glenn Miller scored 16 number-one records and 69 top ten hits—more than Elvis Presley and the Beatles did in their careers. While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Miller's aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.
Istanbul University is a prominent Turkish university located in Istanbul.
However, his fate changed in 1956 after meeting the American jazz musicians Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones at a concert in Ankara. He sent three demo compositions to his friend Tahir Sur who worked at a radio station in America. Sur took these compositions to Quincy Jones and Mardin became the first recipient of the Quincy Jones Scholarship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1958 he and his fiancé Latife moved from Istanbul to Boston. After graduating in 1961, he taught at Berklee for one year and then moved to New York City to try his luck. Arif Mardin was later made a trustee of Berklee and was awarded an honorary doctorate.
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer.
Quincy Delight Jones Jr. is an American record producer, musician, composer, and film producer. His career spans six decades in the entertainment industry with a record 80 Grammy Award nominations, 28 Grammys, and a Grammy Legend Award in 1992.
Berklee College of Music is a private music college in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known for the study of jazz and modern American music, it also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles, including rock, flamenco, hip hop, reggae, salsa, heavy metal and bluegrass. Berklee alumni have won 294 Grammy Awards, more than any other colleges, and 95 Latin Grammy Awards. Other notable accolades include 19 Emmy Awards, 5 Tony Awards and 5 Academy Awards.
Mardin began his career at Atlantic Records in 1963 as an assistant to Nesuhi Ertegün. A fellow Turkish émigré, Nesuhi was the brother of Ahmet Ertegün, Atlantic's co-founder and a jazz enthusiast when they met at the Newport Jazz Festival. Mardin rose through the ranks quickly, becoming studio manager, label house producer and arranger. In 1969, he became the Vice President and later served as Senior Vice President until 2001. He worked closely on many projects with co-founders Ertegün and Jerry Wexler, as well as noted recording engineer Tom Dowd; the three legends (Dowd, Mardin, and Wexler) were responsible for establishing the "Atlantic Sound". Arif Mardin retired from Atlantic Records in May 2001 and re-activated his label Manhattan Records. He maintained ties to the Turkish music industry.
Atlantic Recording Corporation is an American record label founded in October 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün and Herb Abramson. Over its first 20 years of operation, Atlantic earned a reputation as one of the most important American labels, specializing in jazz, R&B, and soul by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Ruth Brown and Otis Redding. Its position was greatly improved by its distribution deal with Stax. In 1967, Atlantic became a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, now the Warner Music Group, and expanded into rock and pop music with releases by Led Zeppelin and Yes.
The Newport Jazz Festival is a music festival held every summer in Newport, Rhode Island. Elaine Lorillard established the festival in 1954, and she and husband Louis Lorillard financed it for many years. They hired George Wein to organize the first festival and bring jazz to Rhode Island.
Gerald "Jerry" Wexler was a music journalist-turned music producer, and was one of the main record industry players behind music from the 1950s through the 1980s. He coined the term "rhythm and blues", and was integral in signing and/or producing many of the biggest acts of the time, including Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers, Chris Connor, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Wilson Pickett, Dire Straits, Dusty Springfield and Bob Dylan. Wexler was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and in 2017 to the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.
He produced many hit artists including Margie Joseph, Thereza Bazar, The Rascals, Carly Simon, Petula Clark, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, the Bee Gees, Diana Ross, Queen, Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Lulu, Anita Baker, Judy Collins, Phil Collins, Scritti Politti, Culture Club, Roberta Flack, Average White Band, Hall & Oates, Donny Hathaway, Jeffrey Osborne, Norah Jones, Daniel Rodriguez, Chaka Khan, George Benson, Melissa Manchester, Side Show, The Manhattan Transfer, Modern Jazz Quartet, Willie Nelson, John Prine, Leo Sayer, Dusty Springfield, David Bowie, Raul Midón, Mamas Pride, Jewel and Ringo Starr.
Margaret Marie "Margie" Joseph is an American R&B, soul and gospel singer. Her greatest success came in the 1970s with a duet with Blue Magic on "What's Come Over Me" and her versions of Paul McCartney's "My Love" and The Supremes' "Stop! In the Name of Love".
Thereza Bazar is a Canadian-born British singer, best known as one half of the pop duo, Dollar.
The Rascals were an American rock band, formed in Garfield, New Jersey in 1965. Between 1966 and 1968 the New Jersey act reached the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 with nine singles, including the #1s "Good Lovin'" (1966), "Groovin'" (1967), and "People Got to Be Free" (1968), as well as big radio hits such as the much-covered "How Can I Be Sure?" and "A Beautiful Morning", plus another critical favorite "A Girl Like You". The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
Mardin is listed on Stephen Stills' first album (1970) issued by Atlantic Records, as a contributing artist for string arrangement on the songs "Church" and "To a Flame".
Arif Mardin, when producing the Bee Gees' 1975 Main Course album track "Nights on Broadway" famously discovered the distinctive falsetto of Barry Gibb, which became a familiar trademark of the band throughout the disco era.
Mardin made two solo albums: Glass Onion, in 1970, and Journey , in 1975. In Journey, he was the composer and arranger, but he also played electric piano and percussion, and was accompanied by many stars of jazz (Randy and Michael Brecker, Joe Farrell, Gary Burton, Ron Carter, Steve Gadd, Billy Cobham and many others).Mardin composed, arranged, conducted and produced The Prophet, an interpretation of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, in 1974, featuring Richard Harris.
In his career of more than 40 years, he collected over 40 gold and platinum albums, over 15 Grammy nominations and 12 Grammy Awards. In 1990, Arif Mardin was inducted into the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.
Mardin died at his home in New York on June 25, 2006 following a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.His remains were brought to Turkey and were interred at Karacaahmet Cemetery in Üsküdar district of Istanbul on July 5, 2006. Bee Gees' soloist Robin Gibb and his wife Dwina attended the funeral service, among other prominent people.
Arif’s widow Latife (1924-2013) was a playwright. The other daughter, Nazan Joffre, works along with her brother. Joe Mardin created a documentary about his father called The Greatest Ears in Town: The Arif Mardin Story which was released on June 15, 2010. The documentary was directed by Doug Biro. It was premiered at several screenings at different chapters of The Recording Academy. The first screening took place in New York on June 15, 2010.
The 45th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 23, 2003 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Musicians accomplishments from the previous year were recognized. Norah Jones and her song "Don't Know Why" were the main recipients of the night, garnering six Grammys, including four major awards: Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist, plus Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album.Songwriter Jesse Harris received the Song of the Year award for his work on "Don't Know Why." Simon and Garfunkel reunited to open the show performing "The Sound of Silence".
The 21st Annual Grammy Awards were held in 1979, and were broadcast live on American television. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the year 1978.
The 26th Annual Grammy Awards were held on February 28, 1984, at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, and were broadcast live on American television. They recognized accomplishments by musicians from the year 1983. Michael Jackson who had been recovering from scalp burns sustained due to an accident which occurred during filming of a Pepsi commercial, won a record eight awards during the show. It is notable for garnering the largest Grammy Award television audience ever.
The Grammy Award for Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices was awarded from 1977 to 1986. From 1977 to 1981 it was called the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement for Voices. The award is presented to the arranger of the music.
Feels Like Home is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Norah Jones, released on February 10, 2004, through Blue Note Records. It serves as the follow up to Jones' 2002 breakthrough album, Come Away with Me.
Gary Burton is an American jazz vibraphonist, composer, and educator. Burton developed a pianistic style of four-mallet technique as an alternative to the prevailing two-mallet technique. This approach caused him to be heralded as an innovator, and his sound and technique are widely imitated. He is also known for pioneering fusion jazz and popularizing the duet format in jazz, as well as being a major figure in music education from his 30 years at the Berklee College of Music.
Mr. Natural is the Bee Gees' twelfth album, released in July 1974. It was the first Bee Gees release to be produced by Arif Mardin, who was partially responsible for launching the group's later major success with the follow-up album Main Course. The album's music incorporates more rhythm and blues, soul and funk and hard rock than their previous albums.
Joseph Carl Firrantello, known as Joe Farrell, was an American jazz saxophonist and flautist. He is best known for a series of albums under his own name on the CTI record label and for playing in the initial incarnation of Chick Corea's Return to Forever.
Main Course, released in 1975 for the RSO label, is the 13th album by the Bee Gees, and their last album to be released by Atlantic Records in the US under its distribution deal with Robert Stigwood. This album marked a change for the Bee Gees as it was their first album to include disco influenced songs, and it created the model for their output through the rest of the 1970s. It was the group's thirteenth album. Main Course was the first album to feature keyboardist Blue Weaver. The album cover with the band's new logo designed by US artist Drew Struzan made its first appearance here.
E.S.P. is the seventeenth studio album by British group Bee Gees. Released in 1987, it was the band's first studio album in six years, and their first release under their new contract with Warner Bros. It marked the first time in twelve years the band had worked with producer Arif Mardin, and was their first album to be recorded digitally. The album sold well in Europe, reaching No. 5 in the UK, No. 2 in Norway and Austria, and No. 1 in Germany and Switzerland, though it barely made the top 100 in the US.
Joe Mardin is a music producer, arranger and engineer from New York City. He is a Berklee College of Music graduate and is the son of producer Arif Mardin. Joe is also a conductor, songwriter and drummer.
Jimmy Douglass, also known as "The Senator", is an American recording engineer and record producer. His career has spanned more than four decades.
Ken Bichel is an American actor, composer, conductor, pianist, and synthesizer musician.
Atlantic Studios was the recording studio of Atlantic Records. Although this recording studio was located at 1841 Broadway, in New York City, Atlantic Recording Studios was initially located at 234 West 56th Street from November 1947 until mid-1956. When the Shorty Rogers and His Giants disc of 33.33 rpm called Martians Come Back! was issued in August 1956, the address of Atlantic Recording Studios had relocated to 157 W 57th Street. The studio was the first to record in stereo due to the efforts of Tom Dowd.
Ahmet Ertegun (, Turkish spelling: Ahmet Ertegün was a Turkish-American businessman, songwriter and philanthropist.
Nesuhi Ertegun was a Turkish-American record producer and executive of Atlantic Records and WEA International.
The Greatest Ears in Town: The Arif Mardin Story is a 2010 documentary about the Grammy winning music producer Arif Mardin. The documentary was produced by his son Joe Mardin and was directed by Doug Biro. It was made in the years prior to Arif's death in 2006 from pancreatic cancer.
Jay Newland is an American music producer, engineer and mixer.
Gene William Paul is an American audio recording / mixing / mastering engineer, producer and musician. He was an engineer at Atlantic Recording Studios during their famed 1960s–80s period and is currently the chief mastering engineer at G&J Audio, a mixing and mastering studio for major and independent labels focused on reissues and new recordings. He has worked on thousands of projects, and has engineered 9 Grammy Award-winning albums with 29 total nominations in 15 different categories. He has engineered many hit recordings, including 7 #1's on the Billboard Pop & Jazz charts, 6 more in the Pop Top 10, 10 more in the Jazz Top 10, and 5 in the R&B Top 20.
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