To multitudes of music fans, HERB ALPERT is the trumpet-playing icon whose name instantly brings to mind memorable songs that he recorded either as the leader of the legendary Tijuana Brass or as a solo artist, yielding five No. 1 hits, eight Grammys, 14 platinum albums, and 15 gold albums – totaling 72 million albums sold worldwide.
To a global circle of musicians Alpert’s distinct, relaxed instrumental sound makes him a favorite. Trumpet players are especially aware of his unique musical expression. “You hear three notes and you know it’s Herb Alpert,” said Miles Davis. “He gets right to the point of what he’s playing,” remarked Wynton Marsalis, “very melodic and nothing extraneous.”
To the entire music business, A&M Records, founded by Herb and his partner Jerry Moss, was the most successful independent record label in the world. In 1990 they sold the company as a tide of corporate takeovers swept the industry.
A lover of jazz since childhood, Alpert has added his unique style and sound to many of his solo jazz albums over the years. He has worked with such notable musicians as Hugh Masekela, Shorty Rogers, and Pete Jolly, and played with the legendary Louis Armstrong. Alpert has also produced and played with Gato Barbieri and the great Stan Getz.
All of these high profile achievements only begin to define the generous extent of Alpert’s creative spirit. The litany of Alpert’s accomplishments also includes:
Abstract expressionist artist of respect and critical renown: his canvases and sculptures are praised for defining a flowing, visual vocabulary of their own.
Broadway producer with a talent for choosing prize-winning theater: He has helped bring to Broadway Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass, August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, and Gregory Hines’ Jelly’s Last Jam.
Philanthropist with a hands-on approach: The Herb Alpert Foundation funds arts and education programs and activities selected by Alpert and his wife, Lani Hall, for their effectiveness and creative spirit.
Tracing Alpert’s career, a consistent creative imperative serves as the logic and link between a diverse and vast range. Alpert and Hall shared the stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall earlier this year. When asked about his musical inspiration, he says, “My love for jazz is rooted in its spontaneity and its never ending search for personal truth and creative freedom. It is with that freedom that we’re doing these tours, playing original arrangements of classic American standards with the color of Brazilian music scattered throughout, hopefully creating an exciting and unique musical blend without ever closing the space for spontaneity.”
Alpert is a creative force with the spirit of imagination and curiosity that inspires and lifts us to feel the joy and depth of his incomparable musical signature.