Two of the most influential players in the recording industry will share stories during a free, public program, “A Conversation with Tommy LiPuma and Bruce Botnick,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at Cuyahoga Community College’s Metropolitan Campus.
Producer LiPuma, onetime president of the GRP Recording Co. and Verve Music Group, has produced for a host of iconic musicians, including Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Dr. John, Miles Davis, Al Jarreau and Barbra Streisand. Botnick, engineer and producer, has worked in rock ‘n’ roll, Broadway recording and on soundtracks for films including E.T., Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Rambo.
“Bruce and Tommy are as passionate about recording as when they first started working together in L.A. in 1962,” said Tommy Wiggins, creative director and architect of Tri-C’s industry-leading Recording Arts & Technology program. Wiggins will moderate the Tuesday night conversation.
“It’s a left brain-right brain thing,” he said. “For Tommy, it’s all about the song, and for Bruce it’s about capturing the moment in the most musical way possible.”
The conversation will cap a daylong workshop during which LiPuma and Botnick will guide students in Tri-C’s Music and Recording Arts Technology programs in creating a studio recording. The evening program will take place in the Black Box Theatre of the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts, 2809 Woodland Ave.
LiPuma is one of the most successful pop and jazz producers of all time. Most recently, he produced Paul McCartney’s 2012 release, Kisses on the Bottom, which won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. In a career spanning four decades, he has been nominated for more than 30 Grammys and watched as many records reach gold or platinum status. His keen ear for the magic that makes a hit turned him into one of the industry’s most respected executives at A&M, Blue Thumb, Warner Bros. and Elektra.
Like LiPuma, engineer and producer Bruce Botnick has worked magic behind the scenes during the golden age of American popular music. He started his career as an apprentice engineer at Liberty Records, where he worked with Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, the Ventures, Leon Russell, Jackie DeShannon and David Gates. At age 19, he moved to Sunset Sound, where he was hired as a mixer, primarily doing children’s albums for Disney, and developed a reputation as a rock ‘n’ roll engineer. He recorded all the Doors’ albums and produced their 1971 album, L.A. Woman. He also produced the Love album Forever Changes, engineered Buffalo Springfield’s classic Bluebird and the Rolling Stones’ Let it Bleed.
Through the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, the college has leveraged LiPuma’s musical genius to build its music programs and to preserve the legacy of jazz and other contemporary music. Tri-C students enjoy regular opportunities to engage with and learn from professionals in music and recording arts careers.
The Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts is a premier facility that provides a unique learning environment for students pursuing studies in a wide spectrum of creative arts disciplines. A joint project between the college and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the center features 75,000 square feet that bring together media arts, recording arts, performing arts, animation laboratories and other creative arts programs. It is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Library and Archives.
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