Herb Alpert has shaped my musical life at three important moments: as a young boy first falling in love with music, as an A&R executive entrusted with a piece of his legacy, and today as I am named Artistic Director for his Los Angeles music venue, Herb Alpert's Vibrato Grill Jazz.
I spent my childhood on the A&M Records lot — an 80,000 sq. foot former orange grove in Hollywood originally owned by Charlie Chaplin. It was built as his film studio, then purchased in 1967 by the young trumpet player and his business partner, Jerry Moss. My father had offices at A&M next door to Quincy Jones. I snuck into recording sessions, execs’ offices, and every other corner of this musical playground.
Many years later, Herb would reappear in my life when I was given the honor of overseeing the re-release of his 1960s A&M Tijuana Brass recordings which included a new remix album of his seminal Whipped Cream & Other Delights. Herb was generous enough to invite me onto The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to play alongside him and Ozomatli.
Thirteen years ago, Herb and his daughter, Eden, opened their jazz club, Vibrato Grill Jazz, at the top of Mulholland Drive. In 2015, they invited me to bring blues to the room for the first time. I have also sat many nights in the audience learning from masters just as I did on the A&M lot as a kid.
I’m so thrilled to be entrusted with another piece of Herb’s legacy. Vibrato gives me another playground to explore my continuing passion of bringing good music and good food together. It’s another platform to keep vital American music alive on the world class stage one show at a time.
Thanks to Herb, Eden, and the entire Vibrato staff. Thanks to all of the musicians who have come through the room and who will soon play for the first time. May all of our 2017 be filled and fueled with music.