Jamar Chess

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Jamar Chess
Nationality American
Occupation Music publisher
Organization Sunflower Entertainment Group, Spirit Music Latino
Relatives Marshall Chess (father)
Leonard Chess (grandfather)

Jamar Chess is an American music publisher. He is president[1] and co-founder of Sunflower Entertainment Group, a music publishing firm and record label that focuses on independent Latin music and manages a catalogue of music including work from Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Ike Turner, Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, Frank Sinatra, Thelonious Monk, Marvin Gaye, Duke Ellington, and Charles Stepney.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Jamar Chess is the grandson of Leonard Chess who started Chess Records in Chicago in 1950. Chess Records was the label of artists including Chuck Berry, Etta James, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. Chess' father, Marshall Chess, is a record producer who formed Rolling Stones Records in 1970, which he ran for seven years. He helped create The Rolling Stones tongue and lip logo, and was executive producer on seven Rolling Stone albums.[2][4]

As a young man, Chess worked at Arc Music Group, the publishing arm of Chess Records, managing the blues catalog.[5] He later became creative director of the company,[6] He also held the Creative A&R International position where he managed the company's international operations. He worked with the company's catalog and focused on remix projects, digital licensing and synchronization licensing.[7]


In 2002, Chess co-founded Sunflower Entertainment Group, a specialty music publishing house that focuses on independent Latin music and classic publishing catalogs, with Marshall Chess and Juan Carlos Barguil.[3] Sunflower was established under Arc Music.[2]

Chess was featured in Billboard's annual "30 Under 30 Power Player" list for 2009.[5][7]

In 2015, Chess worked with music producer Liza Richardson to include over 40 songs from Sunflower's Columbian catalog in the Netflix series Narcos.[1][8] In 2016, Chess worked with Jeurys Familia of the New York Mets to create a custom walkout song, written by Dominican Bachata singer Zacarías Ferreíra.[9]

In April 2016, Chess and business partner Juan Carlos Barguil started Spirit Music Latino, a joint venture with indie music publisher Spirit Music Group. Spirit Music Latino is a division of Spirit Music focused on Latin songwriters, artists and catalogs.[10][11][12]


Year Album Artist Role
2015 Los Bravos de la Cumbia La Sonora Dinamita Compiled
2013 Puro Caribe 2013 Various artists Producer
2011 En Barranquilla Me Quedo Jo Arroyo Y La Verdad Executive Producer
2011 Tropicialisimo Mega Mix Various artists Producer
2009 Heavy on the Salsa! Various artists Producer, Mastering
2008 Chess Moves: Future Blues Keith LeBlanc Executive Producer, Digital Editing[13]


  1. ^ a b Judy Cantor-Navas (September 15, 2015). "Netflix’s ‘Narcos’: The Songs That Give the Series Its Columbian Flavor". Billboard. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c David Weiss (March 13, 2011). "Licensing and the American Songbook: Sunflower Entertainment Advances the Chess Legacy". Sonic Scoop. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Sunflower's Latin Music A Perfect Match For Netflix's 'Narcos'". Newpaper Post. September 3, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Force MDs on Getting Big and Going Broke". Ebony. July 9, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "30 Under Thirty". Billboard. August 22, 2009. 
  6. ^ Jim Bessman (October 4, 2003). "Arc Is Gladly Singing The Blues". Billboard. 
  7. ^ a b "Speakers & Performers". Billboard. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  8. ^ "NY Mets’ Jeurys Familia’s To Get Bachata Walkout Song". Addicted to Radio. March 2, 2016. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  9. ^ Kirsten Fleming (April 3, 2016). "MLB about to be very jealous of Jeurys Familia's walk-on song". New York Post. Retrieved April 21, 2016. 
  10. ^ Leila Cobo (April 14, 2016). "Spirit Music Group Launches Spirit Music Latino in Partnership with Sunflower: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Rhian Jones (April 14, 2016). "Spirit Music Group Launches Latin Music Division". Music Business Worldwide. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  12. ^ James Hanley (April 15, 2016). "Overnight news from around the world". Music Week. Retrieved May 16, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Jamar Chess". All Music. Retrieved April 21, 2016.