JazzFest History

Tommy LiPuma

Awarded: 2016
Born: Cleveland, Ohio

"Tommy LiPuma is one of the most successful music producers in history. Yet he is strikingly humble and accessible to our students and faculty. His contributions to our building and programs are unmatched. We’re thrilled to honor him with this recognition."

- Dr. Alex Johnson, President, Tri-C


Tommy LiPuma is one of the most successful pop and jazz producers of all time, with 36 gold and platinum records to his credit, 36 Grammy nominations and five Grammy Awards. Born and raised in Cleveland, his keen ear for the magic of what makes a hit made him one of the industry’s most respected executives at A&M, Blue Thumb, Warner Bros., Elektra, and as president of The GRP Recording Co. and chairman of The Verve Music Group. He has produced for legendary artists such as Diana Krall, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Natalie Cole, George Benson, Sir Paul McCartney and Leon Russell, to name a few. In his 50 years in the business, he has sold more than 75 million records. In 2012, the board of trustees of Cuyahoga Community College named the College’s arts center the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts in recognition of LiPuma’s support of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, the College and the students served. As a special guest lecturer and adviser, he shares his expertise and industry relationships with students, faculty and staff through frequent visits during the academic year.