UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP EXPANDS VERVE MUSIC WITH APPOINTMENT OF GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER, SONGWRITER & ARTIST DAVID FOSTER
Foster Appointed Chairman of Verve Music Group; Senior Creative Team to Feature Jay Landers (Senior Vice President of A&R), Jaymes Foster (Senior Vice President of A&R),and Producer/Engineer Jochem van der Saag
Los Angeles, CA & New York, NY, December 15, 2011 – Expanding further into the growing adult contemporary and pop music markets, Universal Music Group (UMG) has appointed multiple Grammy Award-winning and Oscar nominated producer, songwriter, arranger, artist and creative executive David Foster to Chairman of Verve Music Group. The announcement was made today by UMG’s Chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge, to whom he reports.
Based in Los Angeles, Mr. Foster will lead the creative operations of Verve, with a particular focus on identifying new talent and further developing UMG’s roster of adult music and pop artists. Under his leadership, Mr. Foster will build upon Verve’s legacy of nurturing great talent at a time when music lovers are now re-embracing the singer-songwriter artistry of the genre. Over the last several years, the adult contemporary music market has grown dramatically with increasing sales and a nationwide radio audience that has swelled to over 70 million, with Mr. Foster being a key driver of that growth.
“We are committed to expanding our A&R investment in all areas of music on a global basis, and the adult music, pop and jazz genres are very important to me,” stated Mr. Grainge. “With artists like Andrea Bocelli, Diana Krall and Jamie Cullum, among many others, UMG already has one of the finest rosters in this area. With David at the helm, we’re now uniquely positioned for even more dramatic growth. He is one of music’s most versatile and prolific hit makers, and one of the industry’s most gifted developers of talent.”
In addition, joining Mr. Foster as part of his senior creative team are Jay Landers (Senior Vice President of A&R), Jaymes Foster (Senior Vice President of A&R) and producer/engineer Jochem van der Saag. The creative team will also include Dahlia Ambach Caplin, who currently serves as Vice President of A&R at Verve Music Group.
“Jay, Jaymes, Dahlia and Jochem represent the very best in creative leadership and business management,” added Mr. Foster. “Each possesses a wealth of experience and a real track record of success and innovation. I’m looking forward to working with them and the entire Verve team as we rapidly ramp up our operations.”
Mr. Foster, originally from Canada, is a multi-talented musician, record producer, songwriter, showman and all around hit-maker. Over the course of his illustrious career, he has produced a wide range of music superstars including Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Mariah Carey, Seal, Gloria Estefan, *NSYNC, Neil Diamond, Whitney Houston, Cher, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, Chaka Khan, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Kenny Rogers, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera, to name just a few. His productions have spawned dozens of #1 hits, including the highest selling soundtrack of all time “The Bodyguard.” He has earned 16 Grammy Awards, an Emmy and Golden Globe, as well as three Academy Award nominations for his music. He was recently awarded Broadcast Music Inc’s (BMI) ICON Award, and is the creator of the widely successful ‘Hitman: Foster & Friends’ franchise which includes sold out tours around the world.
Mr. Foster founded 143 Records, which launched the career of 30x platinum-selling phenoms The Corrs, singing sensation Josh Groban, whose CDs have sold well over 20 million copies, as well as Grammy Award-winner Michael Bublé, who has sold over 35 million CDs worldwide, and introduced Filipino mega singer Charice to America. Earlier this year, he produced 10-year old ‘America’s Got Talent’ star Jackie Evancho’s platinum debut album.
Mr. Landers has amassed a body of work that spans numerous genres of music, from rock, urban, country, classical and children’s, to Broadway and motion picture soundtracks. To date, the projects that he has contributed to have sold in excess of 100 million copies and have garnered multiple Grammy awards, Emmy awards and Oscar “Best Song” nominations and wins. He has served as a Senior A&R Executive at Columbia Records, Walt Disney Records and EMI Music. Throughout his career, Mr. Landers has worked with many of contemporary music’s biggest superstars, including Barbra Streisand (executive produced her last 20 albums and Music Supervised her DVD’s and live concert performances,) Josh Groban, Neil Diamond, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, Barry Manilow, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Tony Bennett, Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus, Jesse McCartney, and Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush, among others.
Ms. Foster’s roots in music started as an Executive Creative Director in music publishing, heading Quincy Jones Qwest Music as well as consulting to David Geffen’s Geffen Music. Over the last two decades, she has been a key part of Mr. Foster’s creative team, A&Ring his projects as well as identifying songwriters and producers early in their careers and catapulting them to success. She’s also appeared as a judge on the WB Network’s singing competition Popstars which spawned hit artist Nicole Scherzinger.
Mr. van der Saag is a producer, composer, arranger, engineer, keyboardist, programmer and sound designer. Originally from Holland, he began his career composing and recording ads and jingles for television, radio and film. In 2000, he met David Foster, who hired him as a programmer, sound designer and synth player, beginning a decade-long relationship working closely with Foster on all of his recent projects, including some as co-producer. Jochem is currently producing a solo project with Keith Harkin of Celtic Thunder for Verve.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 59 territories. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry’s leading global music publishing operation.
Universal Music Group’s record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Records, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Polydor Records, Show Dog – Universal Music, Motown, Universal Music Latino, Universal Republic 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 includes the last 100 years of the world’s most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalog is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes Global Digital Business its new media and technologies division and Bravado, its worldwide merchandising company.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.