Concord Music

Last updated
Concord Music
IndustryMusic, entertainment
Headquarters Beverly Hills, California
OwnerAlchemy Copyrights
Parent Barings Asset Management
(MassMutual Financial Group)
Footnotes /references
Co-distributed by Universal Music Group, AMPED Distribution and the Alternative Distribution Alliance
(catalogues acquired from Warner Music Group)

Concord Music Group is an independent music company based in Beverly Hills, California, with worldwide (including the U.S.) distribution through Universal Music Group. [1] [2] The company is specialized in recordings (Concord Records, Fantasy Records, Rounder Records, Telarc Records, Loma Vista Recordings) and music publishing (Boosey & Hawkes, Imagem, Zomba, Harrisongs).

Universal Music Group American music corporation

Universal Music Group is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG's global corporate headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. It is considered one of the "Big Three" music companies, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Since 2004, the corporation is no longer related to the film studio Universal Studios. In 2019, Fast Company named Universal Music Group the most innovative music company and listed UMG among the Top 50 most innovative companies in the world and "amid the music industry's digital transformation, Universal is redefining what a modern label should look like." UMG has signed licensing agreements with more than 400 platforms worldwide.

Boosey & Hawkes is a British music publisher purported to be the largest specialist classical music publisher in the world. Until 2003, it was also a major manufacturer of brass, string and woodwind musical instruments.

Imagem Music Group was a Dutch music publisher. The company was founded in 2008 by the Dutch firm Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, one of the world's largest pension funds, in conjunction with the independent publisher and media company CP Masters BV. It began by acquiring music publishing rights in a number of catalogues sold by Universal Music Publishing Group after its acquisition of BMG Music Publishing, such as Rondor, Zomba, BBC and 19 Music; the sale was worth 140 million euros. These were sold by Universal after the European Commission ordered the sell-off as a condition of its merger with BMG's publishing arm. This was followed by acquiring the world's leading classical music publishing company Boosey & Hawkes in 2008 and Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization in 2009.


Concord's catalogue consists of over 12,000 albums and 390,000 compositions. Concord has 267 Grammy-winning albums, and 388 titles have been certified by the RIAA.

Recording Industry Association of America Trade organization representing the recording industry in the U.S.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is a trade organization that represents the recording industry in the United States. Its members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA says "create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States." The RIAA headquarters is in Washington, D.C.


The company was founded in 1973 in Concord, California by Carl Jefferson, an auto dealer and jazz enthusiast. Jefferson produced the first Concord Jazz recording by guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass. He named the label after the Concord Jazz Festival, which he had organized some years earlier. Jefferson sold Concord to Alliance Entertainment in 1994 and died the following year. [3] In 1999, film/television producer Norman Lear and entertainment executive Hal Gaba purchased the company. [4] In 2002, the label's headquarters were moved to Beverly Hills, California.

Concord, California City in California, United States

Concord is the largest city in Contra Costa County, California. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 122,067 making it the 8th largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1869 as the community of Todos Santos by Salvio Pacheco, the name was changed to Concord within months. The city is a major regional suburban East Bay center within the San Francisco Bay Area, and is 29 miles east of San Francisco.

Concord Jazz US record label; imprint of Concord Bicycle Music

Concord Jazz is a record company and label created in 1973 by Carl Jefferson, the founder of Concord Records and former owner of Jefferson Motors Lincoln Mercury dealership in Concord, CA. It was named after Concord, California, a suburb of San Francisco, and the jazz festival which Jefferson also started. Early on the label produced some of the biggest names in jazz, including Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, Stan Getz, Ray Brown, and Rosemary Clooney, and in recent times Chick Corea, Eliane Elias, and Kurt Elling. It is owned by Concord Bicycle Music.

Herb Ellis American jazz guitarist

Mitchell Herbert Ellis, known professionally as Herb Ellis, was an American jazz guitarist. During the 1950s, he was in a trio with pianist Oscar Peterson.

In 2004, Concord Records acquired Fantasy, Inc., owner of Prestige, Fantasy, Milestone, Riverside, and Specialty, and the post-Atlantic Stax catalog. Concord then combined with Fantasy to form the independent Concord Music Group. [5] Concord joined with Starbucks to release the Ray Charles album Genius Loves Company, [6] which won eight Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. [7] In 2005, Concord bought Telarc. [8] On December 18, 2006, Concord announced the re-launch of the soul label Stax; rights to the name were formerly held by Fantasy. New signings included Isaac Hayes and Angie Stone. [9]

Concord Records is an American record label owned by Concord Music Group and based in Beverly Hills, California. Concord Records was launched in 1995 as an imprint designed to reach beyond the company's foundational Concord Jazz label. The label's artists have won 14 Grammy Awards and 88 Grammy nominations.

Telarc International Corporation is an American audiophile independent record label founded in 1977 by two classically trained musicians and former teachers, Jack Renner and Robert Woods. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the label has had a long association with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Alhough it started as a classical music label, Telarc has released jazz, blues and country music recordings.

Stax Records is an American record label, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee. Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the label changed its name to Stax Records in 1961 and shared its operations with Volt Records, a sister label created to avoid the impression of favoritism among radio stations playing their records.

On March 12, 2007, Concord Music Group and Starbucks jointly founded the Hear Music label. [10] Paul McCartney's album Memory Almost Full was released in June 2007. [11] Hear Music has released albums by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and John Mellencamp.

Starbucks American multinational coffee company

Starbucks Corporation is an American coffee company and coffeehouse chain. Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971. As of early 2019, the company operates over 30,000 locations worldwide.

Hear Music American record label

Hear Music was a record label that was founded in 2007 in a partnership between Concord Music Group and Starbucks. Hear Music began as a catalog company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1990 before being purchased by Starbucks in 1999.

Joni Mitchell Canadian musician

Roberta Joan "Joni" Mitchell is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Drawing from folk, pop, rock, and jazz, Mitchell's songs often reflect social and environmental ideals as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment, and joy. She has received many accolades, including nine Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. Rolling Stone called her "one of the greatest songwriters ever", and AllMusic has stated, "When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century".

In 2008, Village Roadshow Pictures Group (VRPG) and Concord completed their merger resulting in the creation of the new diversified entertainment group, Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. [12] In April 2010 it was announced that Paul McCartney transferred the distribution rights of his post-Beatles output to Concord from EMI. [13]

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they are regarded as the most influential band of all time. The group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. Their sound was rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, but they incorporated elements of classical music, traditional pop, and used unconventional and innovative recording techniques. In later years they experimented with a number of musical styles, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's socio-cultural movements.

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

Concord purchased Rounder Records in 2010. [14] Distribution is mainly handled by Universal Music Group. [15] In smaller markets, such as those in Africa and Eastern Europe, local independent labels that represent Universal license the catalogue. [15] In 2012, Concord Music Group designated four distinct operating units: Fantasy Label Group (Hear Music, Stax, Fantasy), Rounder Label Group, Concord-Telarc Label Group (Concord Jazz/Heads-Up/Telarc) and Prestige Group.

Esperanza Spalding was honored with the Best New Artist Grammy in 2011, a first for Concord. [16] Concord Music Group artists won 8 Grammy Awards at the 2013 Awards ceremony, the most of any label. [17]

On March 25, 2013, Wood Creek Capital Management, (now Barings LLC, an affiliate of MassMutual Financial Group), purchased Concord Music Group from Village Roadshow Entertainment Group. [18] On October 31, 2013, The Bicycle Music Company acquired Wind-up Records back catalog including the master recordings of 1,600 songs including albums by Creed, Evanescence, Seether and Alter Bridge. The Bicycle Music Company then cut a service agreement deal with sister company Concord Music Group to market the acquired Wind-up Records back catalog to retailers and consumers. [19]

On July 1, 2014, Tom Whalley's label, Loma Vista Recordings (home to St. Vincent, Little Dragon, Spoon, Cut Copy, Marilyn Manson, Ghost, and the Grammy-nominated Django Unchained soundtrack, among others) agreed to a new multi-year, worldwide strategic partnership with Concord Music Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Concord provides funding for new talent relationships and artist development, as well as comprehensive label services for Loma Vista. [20] On July 8, 2014, Concord Music Group announced the acquisition of the Vee-Jay Records catalog including over 5,000 master recordings from Little Richard, John Lee Hooker, Betty Everett, Jimmy Reed, Jerry Butler, The Staple Singers, Gene Chandler, and the Dells, among many others. [21]

On April 1, 2015, Concord Music Group announced that it had acquired Vanguard Records and Sugar Hill Records from the Welk Music Group. Simultaneously, it was also announced that Concord Music Group merged with the Bicycle Music Company, a leading independent music publisher, record label, and rights manager to form the fully integrated recorded music and publishing company Concord Bicycle Music. Concord Music and Bicycle Music will operate as individual divisions within Concord Bicycle Music, with Concord Music Group being primarily responsible for recorded music activities and Bicycle overseeing publishing and rights management. [22] In May 2015, Concord Bicycle Music acquired Fearless Records and the rest of Wind-Up Records, the latter's back catalogue having been acquired by The Bicycle Music Company in October 2013. [23] The Fearless acquisition also included Fearless Records' Fearmore Music Publishing, along with the company's in-house merchandise operation. [24]

In September 2015 Concord acquired a significant stake in Razor & Tie, which includes the Razor & Tie and Washington Square labels, a publishing company, and the Kidz Bop franchise. Artists on the Razor & Tie label include The Pretty Reckless, All That Remains, Red Sun Rising and Starset. [25] In December 2015, American rock band R.E.M. signed a multi-year distribution deal with Concord, which covers their Warner Bros. Records albums. [26]

On June 2, 2017, Concord acquired music publisher Imagem [27] for $500 million. This deal included the rights to music by Daft Punk, Phil Collins, Pink Floyd, Mark Ronson, Boosey & Hawkes, and Rodgers & Hammerstein. [28] In July 2017, Concord acquired the back catalogues of several former Warner Music Group artists, including Jewel, the Violent Femmes, Taking Back Sunday, and Sérgio Mendes. [29] Concord also acquired part of Victory Records' back catalogue.

In September 2017, Concord acquired Savoy Records. The catalog deal brings more than 3,000 master recordings to the company. Savoy was founded in 1942 and recorded Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon. [30]

On February 1, 2018, Concord acquired Tams-Witmark Music Library, [31] which licenses Broadway musical scripts and scores to professional and amateur theaters. Among the properties handled by Tams-Witmark are Kiss Me, Kate ; My Fair Lady ; Gypsy ; Bye Bye Birdie ; Hello, Dolly! ; Cabaret ; Man of La Mancha and A Chorus Line . In February 2018, Concord acquired the classical soundtrack label Varèse Sarabande. [32] On July 27, 2018, Concord acquired Latin label Fania. [33] In August 2018, Concord acquired the catalogue of British label Independiente. [34] In December 2018, Concord acquired theatrical publisher Samuel French, Inc. [35]


Concord Music's active roster includes James Taylor, Chick Corea, Alison Krauss, Ben Harper, [36] Esperanza Spalding, Christian Scott, Arturo Sandoval, Booker T. Jones, Kenny G, George Benson, Steve Martin, Alejandro Escovedo and AFI. The company's master catalog recordings includes John Coltrane, John Fogerty, Frank Sinatra, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Thelonious Monk, Isaac Hayes, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Albert King. [37]

Concord's songwriting roster includes the catalogues of George Harrison, Mark Ronson, Daft Punk, Dolly Parton, Robert Johnson, Igor Stravinsky, Pink Floyd, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Nine Inch Nails, Social Distortion, and Kaiser Chiefs.

Its music publishers include Rodgers & Hammerstein, Harrisongs, the Tams-Witmark Music Library, Boosey & Hawkes, Imagem, the Bicycle Music Company, and Fania Records.


Related Research Articles

Savoy Records American record label

Savoy Records is an American record company and label established by Herman Lubinsky in 1942 in Newark, New Jersey. Savoy specialized in jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel music.

Fania Records American record label

Fania Records is a New York based record label founded by Dominican-born composer and bandleader Johnny Pacheco and Brooklyn born Italian-American ex New York City Police Officer turned lawyer Jerry Masucci in 1964. The label took its name from a popular luncheonette frequented by musicians in Havana, Cuba that Masucci frequented when he worked for a public relations firm there during the pre-Castro era. Fania is known for its promotion of Salsa music.

Warner Music Group American global music conglomerate

Warner Music Group Inc. (WMG), also known as Warner Music, is an American multinational entertainment and record label conglomerate headquartered in New York City. It is one of the "big three" recording companies and the third largest in the global music industry, after Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME). Formerly part of Time Warner, the company was publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange until May 2011, when it announced its privatization and sale to Access Industries, which was completed in July 2011. With a multibillion-dollar annual turnover, WMG employs more than 3,500 people and has operations in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

ABC Records was an American record label founded in New York City in 1955. It originated as the main popular music label operated by the Am-Par Record Corporation. Am-Par also created the Impulse! jazz label in 1960. It acquired many labels before ABC was sold to MCA Records in 1979. ABC produced music in a variety of genres: pop, rock, jazz, country, rhythm and blues, soundtrack, gospel, and polka. In addition to producing records, ABC licensed masters from independent record producers, and purchased regionally released records for national distribution.

Fantasy Records US record label; imprint of Fantasy Records, Inc.

Fantasy Records is an American record company and label founded by brothers Max and Sol Weiss in 1949. The early years of the company were dedicated to issuing recordings by jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, who was also one of its investors, but the label is known more for its recordings of comedian Lenny Bruce, jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, and the 1960s rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Vanguard Records Record label

Vanguard Records is an American record label set up in 1950 by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon in New York City. It was a primarily classical label throughout its heyday in the 50s and 60s, but is perhaps best known for its catalogue of recordings by a number of pivotal jazz, folk, and blues musicians. The Bach Guild was a subsidiary label.

Riverside Records was an American jazz record company and label. Founded by Orrin Keepnews and Bill Grauer under his firm Bill Grauer Productions in 1953, the label played an important role in the jazz record industry for a decade. Riverside headquarters were located in New York City, at 553 West 51st Street.

<i>Genius Loves Company</i> 2004 studio album by Ray Charles

Genius Loves Company is the final studio album by rhythm and blues and soul musician Ray Charles, posthumously released August 31, 2004, on Concord Records. Recording sessions for the album took place between June 2003 and March 2004. The album consists of rhythm and blues, soul, country, blues, jazz and pop standards performed by Charles and several guest musicians, such as Natalie Cole, Elton John, James Taylor, Norah Jones, B.B. King, Gladys Knight, Diana Krall, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt. Genius Loves Company was the last album recorded and completed by Charles before his death in June 2004.

Wind-up Records record label

Wind-up Entertainment is an American independent record label founded by Alan and Diana Meltzer in 1997. It is based in New York City and is distributed by Universal Music Group. Wind-up's best-selling artists worldwide were Evanescence and Creed.

Famous Music Corporation was the worldwide music publishing division of Paramount Pictures, a division of Viacom since 1994. Its copyright holdings span several decades and includes music from such Academy Award-winning motion pictures as The Godfather and Forrest Gump. It was founded in 1928 by Paramount’s predecessor, the Famous-Lasky Corporation, to publish music from its "talking pictures." Some of the classic songs in the Famous Music catalog that originated in motion pictures include "Moon River", "Thanks for the Memory", "Silver Bells", "Mona Lisa", "Where Do I Begin?", "Speak Softly, Love", "Up Where We Belong", "Footloose", "Take My Breath Away" and "My Heart Will Go On".

Heads Up International is a jazz record label that was formed in Cleveland, Ohio. It was bought by the Concord Music Group in 2005.

Act III Communications is a diversified media and entertainment company owned by TV producer Norman Lear. It was started in 1985 following Lear's sale of Embassy Communications to The Coca-Cola Company. In a Wall St. Journal interview in 1988, Lear explained the name by noting that in a Shakespeare play there are always more than three acts and that he expects there to be an Act IV and V. Act III is Lear's business vehicle and is unconnected to his other activities as a political activist and philanthropist.

Craft Recordings American record label

Craft Recordings is a record label owned by Concord Music. Like Universal's UMe, Sony's Legacy Recordings and Warner's Rhino Entertainment, Craft is specialized on reissues of Concord's back catalogue. The imprint was founded in 2017, along with a web store with the same name, specializing on selling Concord's albums on vinyl and CD. Its first release was a deluxe vinyl edition of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane’s Complete 1957 Recordings. Sig Sigworth is the president of Craft Recordings.


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