Blue Note vet strikes Midem chord

Jazz Prez Lundvall takes top accolades

CANNES — International music trade fair Midem tuned into the world of jazz Monday when it honored Blue Note principal Bruce Lundvall as its personality of the year at a gala dinner.

Lundvall, prexy of EMI Music’s Jazz & Classics division in the U.S., was characteristically modest: “I’m just a jazz fan from New Jersey,” he said on receiving the accolade.

There were perfs by three of Lundvall’s current artists — jazz pianist Bill Charlap, guitarist and singer Raul Midon and band Low Million fronted by Adam Cohen, son of musical legend Leonard Cohen.

With a career spanning back to 1960, Lundvall has worked with some of the greats of the jazz world. But he told the gala aud that resurrecting the legendary Blue Note label in 1984 fulfilled a personal dream. Among the artists he has signed at the label are Van Morrison, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Anita Baker and Norah Jones.

“Norah sold 20 million CDs on her first album and that brought a sea change to Blue Note — everyone wanted to be on the label,” said Lundvall.