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new Jewish Music label: Jewish Music Group

Jewish Music Group logoIf you were paying attention to the latest Klezmatics' releases, you noticed that they were being distributed by a new music label, "Jewish Music Group." The write:

The Jewish Music Group is Record Label and Music Distributor specializing in Jewish Music and Entertainment. The label is owned and run by industry veterans Richard Foos (formerly Rhino, currently Shout Factory Entertainment) and David McLees (formerly Rhino Entertainment and Warner Music Group). JMG is distributed in the U.S. by RED Distribution exclusively in the the non-Judaica market. Label President, David McLees explains, We want our releases to cover a wide spectrum of music, the Jewish retail world, as well as cross over into the broadest possible market including traditional, specialty and mainstream. Web: www.jewishmusicgroup.com. Any questions? ">email or call us...818-508-2500.

A few months ago, I asked Mindy McLees to tell me a little more about the new label:

Well, this is fully addressed in Ed Silverman's article titled "Jewish Music by Choice"... within which you have a great quote. [how awkward to be quoted in an article I don't remember! Anyone have a source on this?] I think you get it when you said...

"At least in recent times, what McLees is doing is totally new. It seems quite conceivable that a large Jewish market wouldn't go into a Judaica shop, but would be intrigued by something at a Tower Records. And something like the new Klezmatics album has a good chance of speaking to a broader non-Jewish market. There's also a modern phenomenon at work. People are open to Jewish music in ways they weren't before. It's no longer someone looking for a Jewish artifact, but also Jewish music as a hip movement. So if the label speaks to a lot of current trends, it should be sellable. There's definitely room for this."

We are selling into Judaica, but we also have mainstream distribution. We are interested in putting out Jewish Music that we love..."Jewish music that changes everything" is a tag line we have been using lately to describe our eclectic mix of releases.... Changes how you view Jewish music, or maybe how you feel about God, or how you feel about Jews and Jewish culture. We realize that we are taking on a lot, but as it says in the article, our President, David McLees is a wide eyed, passionate convert with 18 years of record company experience.

With new albums by Moshav, The Klezmatics, and Debbie Friedman and new albums coming out from Ta-Shma and Rav Shmuel our label is hitting a broad spectrum of the Jewish market. If you add to that "Connie Francis sings Jewish favorites," the "Yentl" soundtrack, a Neil Diamond tribute record, and Don Rickles "Speaks!" among other albums and you have a very eclectic and yes, "hip" mix of Jewish music and entertainment.

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