Santa Monica, CA – Hidden Beach Recordings (HBR) and Universal Music Group Distribution (UMGD), a division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, have entered into a distribution agreement, it was jointly announced today by Hidden Beach Founder/CEO Steve McKeever, and Jim Urie, President, Universal Music Group Distribution (UMGD). The deal provides for UMGD to distribute the independent record label’s product throughout North America and covers all HBR’s subsidiaries such as the Hidden Beach Celebrations series, and Still Waters, the label’s inspirational imprint.

“We are very happy to partner with a company whose strength and reach is matched by its vision and innovative spirit,” stated McKeever. “Jim and his team’s understanding and appreciation of this special business mirrors our own, and Universal provides the ideal setting for us to unveil ‘Chapter Two’ of the Hidden Beach experience.”

“I’ve wanted to work with Steve and his team for some time,” commented Urie. “Over the past few years, Hidden Beach has experienced great success, thanks in part to Steve’s unique vision and his dynamic roster of artists. He’s a true entrepreneur, and Hidden Beach is exactly the kind of music company we want to partner with at UMGD.”

Based in Santa Monica, CA, Hidden Beach Recordings publicly bowed onto the entertainment scene in 2000 with the introduction of multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning vocal sensation Jill Scott. The label went on to release projects from such standout artists as award-winning songwriter/vocalist Brenda Russell, Kindred the Family Soul, the trend setting Unwrapped series (Volumes. 1-4), saxman Mike Phillips, songtress Lina, gospel legend/Grammy-winner BeBe Winans, Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker, and trombone maestro Jeff Bradshaw, among others.

The first offering under the new partnership was the October 17 release of TribalJazz, the multi-cultural jazz group led by John Densmore, the legendary drummer and co-founder of the seminal rock band The Doors; slated next is the hotly anticipated Hidden Beach Recordings Box Set of Unwrapped Vols. 1-4, scheduled for a November 21 street date. These releases will be followed in 2007 with the debut of new Hidden Beach artists including vocalist/musician Keite Young, singer Leigh Jones, singer/guitarist Peter Black, and the Still Waters releases of inspirational song stylist Onitsha, and talented vocalist Sunny Hawkins.

The New Year will also bring a new studio album from Grammy-winner Jill Scott, as well as a specialty compilation release of joint efforts between Scott and an eclectic array of hip hop, soul, instrumental, jazz, pop and gospel artists. The disc of wide-ranging collaborations shines a spotlight on the singer’s incredible diversity as she has teamed over the years with the likes of Sergio Mendes and of the Black Eyed Peas, Chris Botti, George Benson, Al Jarreau and Kirk Franklin, Lupe Fiasco, Common, The Roots and Will Smith. Also returning in 2007 will be such Hidden Beach favorites such as Kindred, Mike Phillips and Jeff Bradshaw.

In the span of just a few short years, HBR has amassed a loyal and growing fan base, and has garnered numerous awards and accolades for both its artistic achievements as well as its cutting edge marketing exploits. The label’s groundbreaking college intern program has been hailed as a model for the industry.

Universal Music Group Distribution handles the distribution and sales for such labels as Universal Motown Records Group, Island Def Jam Music Group, Roadrunner, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Universal South, Lost Highway, Mercury Nashville, Verve Music Group, Universal Classics, Universal Music Latino, Universal Music Enterprises, Hip-O, UTV, Univision Music Group, DreamWorks, Disa, ABKCO, Hollywood, Lideres Entertainment, Lyric Street, RMM, Thump, Ark 21, Rounder, Fonovisa, Varese Sarabande, Walt Disney, VI Music and Viva Discos. UMVD also handles the distribution and sales for Vivendi Visual Entertainment, the company’s home entertainment division, and Fontana, its independent distribution arm.

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group is the world’s largest music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 75 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, DreamWorks Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two district divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group includes eLabs, the new media and technologies division, and Universal Music Mobile.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.

About Hidden Beach

Founded by music veteran Steve McKeever, Hidden Beach Recordings is an independent record label based in Santa Monica, CA. Along with introducing music sensation Jill Scott and saxophonist Mike Phillips, Hidden Beach is also home to trombonist Jeff Bradshaw, husband and wife-led group Kindred the Family Soul, songstress Lina, singer/songwriter/guitarist Peter Black, and vocalist/musician Keite Young, among many others.

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