The sound of popular music today owes much to the contributions of Tommy LiPuma as a producer, talent scout and record company executive. A Cleveland native, LiPuma began his career in record promotion and rose quickly to become a celebrated producer of star talent and an industry leader. He has served in significant positions at almost every major record company, his last position being Chairman of Verve records. To date, his productions have amounted to more than 75 million discs sold, with 36 albums certified gold or platinum, 36 Grammy nominations and five Grammy wins. Diana Krall, Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, Natalie Cole, George Benson, Sir Paul McCartney and Leon Russell are but a few of the star artists whose careers have benefited from his hands-on guidance.
In 2012, the Board of Trustees of Cuyahoga Community College named the College’s arts center the Gill and Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts, in recognition of LiPuma’s support of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, the College and the students served. Through a partnership between LiPuma and the Tri-C Foundation, the College is leveraging his musical genius and generosity to build and sustain the rich legacy of the College’s music programs, to preserve the legacy of jazz (contemporary music), and to establish the Tommy LiPuma Endowment Fund. He is committed to sharing his experience to enhance the College’s music programs, serving as an advisor and guest speaker, assisting in the development of young talent and facilitating future collaborations between the College and professional artists and technicians.