Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Managerobit: John Levy

John Levy, bassist-turned-manager, has died.

Levy managed jazz acts at a time when being African American wasn't easy; back in the age of segregation, Levy did all he could to ensure his artists were given the respect they deserved. He worked with, and for, Betty Carter, Herbie Mann, Freddie Hubbard, George Shearing, Joe Williams and Nancy Wilson amongst others.

His clients respected him because, as a musician, he understood what they were doing, but also understood that his charges weren't machines. As Nancy Wilson put it:

I wanted a life, and he was a manager who would allow me to have a life because he understood.
John Levy was 99. He was created a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2006.

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