Orrin Keepnews Orrin Keepnews

Orrin Keepnews is an NEA Jazz Master

“I have been deeply involved in the jazz record world for appreciably more than a half-century, and now that they have gotten around to labeling me a “jazz master” I guess I probably can't count on ending the association any time soon.  Not that I really would want to stop: I remain quite proud of what I have at times accomplished in a varied career — which might perhaps more accurately be considered an overlapping series of careers.  I have primarily thought of myself as a producer, which to me means working with a series of artists to help combine their talents with the realities of recording, editing, promoting, and in various other ways assisting them in achieving a reasonable degree of success and recognition.”

Recognized as one of the outstanding record producers in the jazz world, Orrin Keepnews co-founded Riverside Records in the early 1950s, launching or furthering the careers of several of the most notable names in jazz, beginning with such significant artists as Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins, and Cannonball Adderley. He was long been at the forefront of producing reissues of both traditional and modern jazz recordings, and known for his informative, incisive and extensively detailed liner notes.

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