Cleveland's Grammy-winning jazz producer Tommy LiPuma dead at 80

LOS ANGELES - Grammy-winning jazz and pop producer Tommy LiPuma has died at age 80. He was born in Cleveland. 

LiPuma died Monday in New York after a brief illness, according to the Decca/Verve Label Group, where he had served as chairman.

In a career spanning six decades, LiPuma's productions won five Grammys and sold 75 million copies.

His Grammys came for collaborations with artists including Natalie Cole, George Benson and Paul McCartney.

Singer and keyboardist Diana Krall, who worked with LiPuma throughout her career, says the producer took her to artistic heights she never dreamed of.

The two had just finished their last collaboration, an album called "Turn Up the Quiet" that will be released in May.

LiPuma had strong ties to Cleveland as well.

LiPuma gave a $3 million legacy gift to Cuyahoga Community College, according to Tri-C, and back in 2012, Tri-C named its arts center the "Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts."

According to the Tri-C tribute page, the center houses recording studios, digital labs, dance studios, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's library and archives and the JazzFest Legends Wall, among other things.

The tribute page also notes that the Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland honored LiPuma in 2016 with a Big Birthday Bash celebrating his 80th birthday.

If you travel I-77 north into downtown Cleveland, as you pass Tri-C, you can see that the message board on the side of the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts has a tribute to LiPuma.

Tri-C Tommy LiPuma tribute page

© 2017 Associated Press


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