Concord Music Group

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Concord Music Group
Industry Music & Entertainment
Founded 2004
Headquarters Beverly Hills, California, United States
Area served
Owner Wood Creek Capital Management[1]
Website Concord Music Group

Concord Music Group is an American independent music company based in Beverly Hills, California, United States.[2] Concord Music Group's active roster includes Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Chick Corea, Alison Krauss, Ben Harper,[3]Esperanza Spalding, Christian Scott, Arturo Sandoval, Booker T. Jones, Kenny G, George Benson, Steve Martin and Alejandro Escovedo. 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.[4]


The company was founded in 1973, when Concord, California based auto dealer / jazz enthusiast Carl Jefferson, produced the first Concord Jazz recording by jazz guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass. Jefferson 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.[5] In 1999, film and television producer, Norman Lear, and entertainment executive, Hal Gaba, purchased the company. In 2002, the label’s headquarters were moved to Beverly Hills, California.[6]

In 2004 Concord Records acquired Fantasy, Inc., owner of Prestige, Fantasy, Milestone, Riverside, Specialty and Stax Records. Concord then combined with Fantasy to form the independent Concord Music Group.[7] That same year, Concord first partnered with Starbucks to release Ray Charles’s Genius Loves Company – which won 8 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.[8] In 2005, the company acquired the classics and jazz label Telarc International.[9] 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.[10]

On March 12, 2007, Concord Music Group and Starbucks jointly founded the Hear Music label.[11] Hear Music’s initial release, Paul McCartney’s Memory Almost Full, was released in June of ‘07.[12] Hear Music has since released albums by artists that include Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, John Mellencamp and more.[13] 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.[14] In April 2010 it was announced Paul McCartney has transferred distribution rights to his post-Beatles output to Concord from EMI.[15]

Concord purchased Rounder Records in 2010.[16] Distribution is mainly handled by Universal Music Group.[17] In smaller markets, such as those in Africa and Eastern Europe, local independent labels that represent Universal license the catalogue.[18] 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.[19] Concord Music Group artists won 8 Grammy Awards at the 2013 Awards ceremony, the most of any label.[20]

On March 25, 2013, Wood Creek Capital led investor group purchased Concord Music Group from Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.[21]



  1. ^ Billboard "Concord Music Group to be Sold to Wood Creek Capital Management", Billboard, 25 March 2013
  2. ^ Billboard "Concord Music Being Shopped to Private-Equity Firms, Not Strategic Suitors", Billboard, 5 December 2012
  3. ^ American Songwriter "Ben Harper’s Stax Records Debut Get Up! Due In January", American Songwriter, October 3, 2012
  4. ^ American Songwriter "Concord Music Group Acquires Rounder Records", American Songwriter, 14 April 2013
  5. ^ Jazz Times "Carl Jefferson names Concord after the festival", Jazz Times, November 1998
  6. ^ Los Angeles Times "Lear and Gaba purchase Concord", Los Angeles Times, March 13, 2009
  7. ^ Eric Olsen "Huge Jazz News: Concord Buys Fantasy",, 2 December 2004
  8. ^ Today "Ray Charles big winner at Grammy Awards", Today, 29 May 2006
  9. ^ Staff Writer "Concord Music buys Telarc", Los Angeles Times, 21 December 2005
  10. ^ Billboard "Stax Relaunches With Hayes, Stone, White Tribute", Billboard Magazine, 19 December 2006
  11. ^ Seattle Times "Starbucks launches Hear Music record label", Seattle Times, 12 March 2007
  12. ^ Classic Rock "Paul McCartney - Memory Almost Full", Classic Rock
  13. ^ "Starbucks Launches Hear Music Record Label". 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  15. ^ Sean Michaels "Paul McCartney cuts ties with EMI", The Guardian, 22 April 2010
  16. ^ Kristen Callihan "Concord Music Group Buys Rounder Records", Paste Magazine, 16 April 2012
  17. ^ "Distribution". Concord Music Group. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  18. ^ "Distribution". Concord Music Group. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  19. ^ Huffington Post "Esperanza Spalding: Grammy Award 2011 Winner For Best New Artist", Huffington Post, 25 May 2011
  20. ^ Billboard "Concord, Warner Bros. Lead Record Labels With Most Grammy Awards at 2013 Ceremony",, 11 February 2013
  21. ^ Billboard "Concord Music Group to be Sold to Wood Creek Capital Management",, 25 March 2013

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