Motéma Music

The award-winning Motéma Music label, specializing in culturally trenchant jazz, world music, and soul music, has been praised by All About Jazz as “The most important label to plant its flag in the 21st Century.” Respected internationally as an ‘art-first’ tastemaker, Motéma’s diverse catalog spans genres, cultures, and generations and has received GRAMMY ® recognition for over twenty albums in jazz, Latin-jazz, reggae and R&B. Founded by label president and recording artist Jana Herzen, Motéma operates in New York City out of Harlem’s burgeoning cultural scene, where the label keeps a close eye on current musical trends. It was Motéma that first brought soul/jazz superstar Gregory Porter to international acclaim with his GRAMMY® nominated first albums, Water and Be Good and his hit song 1960 What?. The label is also noted for launching international careers for jazz piano star Joey Alexander, modern soul singer Deva Mahal and Cuban music innovator Pedrito Martinez, among others. Also in the label’s catalog are recordings by established jazz icons such as Randy Weston, Geri Allen, David Murray, Monty Alexander and Charnett Moffett alongside releases by exciting leaders in contemporary jazz innovation including Donny McCaslin, Mark Guiliana, Ben Wendel, Jaimeo Brown’s Transcendence and more.[1]

Motéma Music
Motemalogo.jpg
Founded2003 (2003)
FounderJana Herzen
Distributor(s)The Orchard
Genre
Country of originU.S.
LocationNew York City
Official websitewww.motema.com


HistoryEdit

Motéma Music was begun in the San Francisco Bay Area. A production company since 1997,[2] it became a label after signing Babatunde Lea for his album, Soul Pools. Jana Herzen, a singer-songwriter who composed and performed on "'Round the World" on Soul Pools, was trying to get out some records and created the label to do so, never intending to be a CEO.[3] Herzen chose the name because of its similarity to the sound of "Motown".

Herzen moved the label to New York in 2005 to be closer to the action. At one time, the label was based in the third floor of the Langston Hughes House.[4] The label has since changed locations but remains in Harlem. The Motéma logo was designed by Winston Smith.[5]

The label is very artist-centric and focuses on each artist's individual development. It is because of this reputation that such highly respected artists such as Geri Allen and Rufus Reid came to the label.[5] Herzen attributes this to her being an artist herself.

Jazz TherapyEdit

Roni Ben-Hur and Jana Herzen founded the Jazz Therapy series as a benefit for the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund of the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center Foundation in Englewood, New Jersey, which underwrites medical care for uninsured jazz musicians who are unable to pay for medical care. The series so far has included CDs by Ben-Hur and Ithamara Koorax and Juarez Moreira. Ben-Hur met Nilson Matta in the performance lounge of Englewood Hospital, which led to their collaboration on the third release in the series.

Awards and HonorsEdit

Grammy AwardsEdit

  • 2011: 53rd Grammy Nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album - Water - Gregory Porter
  • 2012: 54th Grammy Nominated for Best Regae Album - Harlem Kingston Express Live! - Monty Alexander
  • 2012: 54th Grammy Nominated for Best Jazz Vocal - The Music of Randy Newman - Roseanna Vitro
  • 2013: 55th Grammy Nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance - Real Good Hands, from Be Good - Gregory Porter
  • 2015: 57th Grammy Win for Best Latin Jazz Album - The Offense of the Drum - Arturo O'Farrill
  • 2015: 57th Grammy Nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album - I Wanna Be Evil - René Marie
  • 2015: 57th Grammy Nominated for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album - Quiet Pride - The Elizabeth Catlett Project - Rufus Reid
  • 2015: 57th Grammy Nominated for Best Latin Album - The Pedrito Martinez Group - Pedrito Martinez
  • 2016: 58th Grammy Win for Best Instrumental Composition and Latin Grammy Best Latin Jazz/Jazz Album - Cuba: The Conversation Continues - Arturo O'Farrill
  • 2016: 58th Grammy Nominated for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album - Cuba: The Conversation Continues - Arturo O'Farrill
  • 2016: 58th Grammy Nominated for Best Jazz Improvisation and Best Instrumental Jazz Album - My Favorite Things - Joey Alexander
  • 2016: 58th Grammy Nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album - Many A New Day - Karrin Allyson
  • 2017: 59th Grammy Nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo - Countdown - Joey Alexander
  • 2017: 59th Grammy Nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album - Sound of Red - René Marie
  • 2017: 59th Grammy Won Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album and Best Instrumental Composition - Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom - Ted Nash
  • 2018: 60th Grammy Win for Best Instrumental Composition - Familia: Tribute to Bebo and Chico - Arturo O'Farrill and Chucho Valdes
  • 2019: 61st Grammy Nomination Best Contemporary Instrumental Album - Beat Music! Beat Music! Beat Music! - Mark Guiliana
  • 2019: 61st Grammy Nomination Best Instrumental Improvisation - La Madrina - Melissa Aldana

DiscographyEdit

2003Edit

2004Edit

2005Edit

  • Lynn Arriale Trio (Jay Anderson, Steve Davis) - Come Together MTM 00001

2006Edit

2007Edit

2008Edit

2009Edit

2010Edit

2011Edit

2012Edit

2013Edit

2014Edit

2015Edit

2016Edit

2017Edit

2018Edit

2019Edit

2020Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://motema.com/about/
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-05. Retrieved 2011-08-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Alex Henderson. "Motéma Music" All About Jazz, November 2010, pp. 12 & 39
  4. ^ Arcynta Ali Childs. “Lawsuits and the Langston Hughes House.” The Village Voice, August 27, 2008. http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-08-27/news/lawsuits-real-estate-relics-and-the-langston-hughes-house/
  5. ^ a b "Winston Smith News - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE". Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra|The Offense of the Drum". Motéma Music. May 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra|Cuba: The Conversation Continues". Motéma Music. August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.

External linksEdit