Initial Signings Include Susan Tedeschi, Rhett Miller, Teddy Thompson, and Brazilian Girls

New York, NY, January 21, 2005 – The Verve Music Group, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, has expanded into the burgeoning and often overlooked Adult Contemporary market with the re-launching of the famed Forecast label, the original home to many of music’s most acclaimed singer songwriters. The announcement was made today by Ron Goldstein, President and CEO of the Verve Music Group.

Formed in 1967, Forecast (originally Folkways) burst onto the scene by introducing some of the era’s most important artists to the record-buying public, including Laura Nyro, Tim Hardin, Richie Havens, The Blues Project, and the Velvet Underground, among others.

Over the last several years, the adult contemporary music market has grown, with increasing record sales and a nation-wide radio audience that has swelled to over 20 million (source: BDS).

“Our expansion into adult contemporary is a natural evolution for us,” stated Goldstein. “Verve has enjoyed great crossover success with jazz projects including Diana Krall, Linda Ronstadt, Aaron Neville, Lizz Wright and most recently, Jamie Cullum and with the innovative ‘Verve Remixed’ albums. It is our belief that that audience that is buying music by these artists as well as by Norah Jones, Josh Groban and Rod Stewart is hungry for more. Our staff is focused and well-positioned to take advantage of traditional and non-traditional marketing opportunities. We are excited about the re-launch of Forecast and we look forward to continuing the original Verve label’s tradition of fostering great talent at a time when music lovers are re-embracing the true artistry of the genre in droves.”

The Verve Forecast imprint will be home to all non-jazz artists signed under the Verve Music Group umbrella.

Blues rocker Susan Tedeschi, Rhett Miller of the Old 97s, Teddy Thompson, Sacramento-based singer/songwriter Jackie Greene and Chiara Civello are among the first acts to sign to the newly-reactivated label. Three-time GRAMMY®-nominee Tedeschi released a trio of critically-acclaimed and commercially successful albums and is preparing to begin work on her Verve Forecast debut, which Don Was is slated to produce. Tedeschi is managed by Macklam/Feldman Management (Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Elvis Costello, Joni Mitchell). Brazilian Girls are a quartet with deep roots in New York’s burgeoning Lower East Side music community. The group, which draws on electro, dub, pop, punk and dance music to create their eclectic sound, was recently described by The New York Times’ Jon Pareles as “catchy, musically ambitious, proudly theatrical” and “irresistible.” Brazilian Girls’ eponymous debut album will be released in February of 2005. The group is managed by David Whitehead, who counts David Byrne and David Bowie among his other clients.

In addition to Verve Forecast, the Verve Music Group is comprised of the premier jazz label Verve, whose roster includes legends such as Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter as well as rising stars Roy Hargrove and Regina Carter; vocalists Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Shirley Horn and Lizz Wright; GRP Records, which houses a stellar roster of contemporary instrumental artists, and Impulse!, the catalog label and home to John Coltrane.