Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced the creation of the Verve Label Group, appointing Danny Bennett, son and manager of legendary singer Tony Bennett, as the label group’s President & CEO. He will report to Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President of UMG.
Under the umbrella of the newly formed Verve Label Group will be a number of standalone labels including Verve, Impulse! Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca Records, Decca Classics, Mercury Classics, and Edition of Contemporary Music (ECM). Committed to the genres of jazz and classical music, UMG will provide distinct efforts in the areas of A&R, marketing, and promotions, using its vast resources and knowledge to build and further the careers of artists on their roster.
Acclaimed record producer David Foster, who led Verve since 2012, will return to working with artists on the music side as a full-time producer, including work on albums for singer-songwriter Carla Bruni (former 1st Lady of France) and Jordan Smith, season 9 winner of NBC’s The Voice. “I have loved every minute working with Verve’s incredibly talented roster of artists and staff. At the same time, during the last few months, as I thought about where I’m happiest, it’s in the recording studio working closely with artists on developing new material. I’m thrilled Danny is now at the helm of the Verve. The label couldn’t be in better hands and I’m looking forward to working on many more projects together,” commented Foster.
“By forming the Verve Label Group and attracting an industry veteran of Danny’s stature and expertise, Universal Music is making a strong statement about the high value we place on building on our robust jazz and classical repertoire. We are committed to growing our presence in these genres even further and creating crossover successes that deliver artists to new audiences around the world. I want to thank David for the immense creative impact he had at Verve. On behalf of everyone here at UMG, we look forward to recording many more hit records with David for years to come,” stated Anthony.
Bennett added, “Universal Music is home to the largest and most historically relevant jazz and classical recordings. It’s a tremendous honor, and I am humbled to be chosen to lead the newly formed Verve Label Group. I’m indebted to David Foster for leading the iconic Verve label and I look forward to working with him on many future productions. Additionally, I offer my profound appreciation to Lucian Grange and Michele Anthony for this amazing opportunity.”
This year marks the 60th anniversary for the Verve label, home to many great jazz legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, and Billie Holiday, as well as contemporary stars like Andrea Bocelli, Diana Krall, Mark Knopfler, Sarah McLachlan, and Barry Manilow. The label also administers the catalog of Impulse!, which includes works by John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and others.
As part of the newly formed music group, the Verve label will relocate to New York, returning the storied music company to its birthplace.