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Bruce Iglauer, founder and CEO of legendary blues label Alligator Records, will be presented with the American Association of Independent Music’s (A2IM) Libera Awards Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a leader in the industry as well as his humanitarian efforts.
He will be honored with the award — to be presented by Tommy Boy founder Tom Silverman, winner of last year’s award — June 19 at NYC’s Highland Ballroom.
Iglauer started the label in 1971 — when he was a 23-year-old shipping clerk — to record and release an album from Hound Dog Taylor & the HouseRockers, his favorite band. Since then, Alligator Records has grown into “the leading record label for the blues,” with a catalog of 300 titles, more than 130 produced or co-produced by Iglauer. Label artists have earned a total of three Grammy awards, 40 nominations, more than 100 Blues Music Awards and more than 70 Living Blues Awards.
Iglauer has spent his career championing artists including Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Lonnie Brooks, Mavis Staples and Charlie Musselwhite, among many others. The label’s current roster includes Marcia Ball, Selwyn Birchwood, Tommy Castro, James Cotton, Jesse Dee, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, JJ Grey & Mofro, The Holmes Brothers, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, Anders Osborne, Roomful of Blues, Curtis Salgado, the Siegel-Schwall Band, Jarekus Singleton and Joe Louis Walker.
Putting his money where his mouth is, Iglauer has been known to open his home to musicians needing a place to live during times of personal trouble. He is the founder and current co-director of the Blues Community Foundation, dedicated to supporting blues music education and assisting blues musicians and their families who are in need. Iglauer was awarded the NARM 1996 Mickey Granberg Award for “sustained and unwavering commitment to independent music and the independent music community,” and was named a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine in 2001. In 2011, he was honored as a Chicagoan of the Year in the Arts by Chicago Tribune for his contributions to the music community over the years. He also was a founding member, and 26-year board member, of the first independent music label organization National Association of Independent Record Distributors and Manufacturers (NAIRD), later the Association for Independent Music (AFIM), and now is on the Board and Executive Committee of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), representing the U.S. independent music industry.
Beggars Group founder Martin Mills was the inaugural winner of the award in 2012. Nominations for the 2015 Libera Awards will be announced this Friday, April 25, and voting will open immediately to the A2IM independent music community.
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