Jazz Trumpeter Al Strong, IV
Announces Strategic Distribution Deal With Lightyear, Virgin Music
and Universal Music, Inc.
Strong releases two singles,
“Black Love,” and “Work Song,”
from his forthcoming CD,
Durham North Carolina-based trumpeter/educator Al Strong, IV - who burst on the jazz/smooth jazz scene with his 2016 debut CD, Lovestrong, Vol 1 - is pleased to announce his global distribution deal with Lightyear, an entertainment company, film studio and record label headquartered in Los Angeles and New York City, distributed By Virgin Records through Universal Music Group, Inc.
“This deal presents an opportunity for my music to be heard worldwide by audiences of all ages that appreciate today’s digital climate,” Strong says.
Founded in 1972, by entrepreneur, mogul and humanitarian Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Records boasted a star-studded pop roster that included The Rolling Stones, David Bowie,The Spice Girls and Janet Jackson. The label was sold to Thorn-EMI in 1992, and was relaunched in February, 2021 as Virgin Music Artist and Label Services, part of the Universal Music Group (UMG) System.
The distribution deal transacted over an eight-month period, and was facilitated by Lavae McClinnahan, of Colure and Diamond Co., a Southern California-based, members-only, business-to-business firm that aids small to large businesses with marketing, sales and distribution strategies in the fields of entertainment, electronics, clothing goods, retail, spirits, restaurants, auto manufacturers and other lifestyle brands. Colure and Diamond will maintain the role of strategic development coordinators for the projects going forward, by aligning Strong with viable partnerships helping deliver the content to consumers of like interest.
With the deal secured, Strong is poised to take his music where it has never gone before. “This deal presents an opportunity for my music to be heard worldwide by audiences that usually gravitate towards the Virgin Records universal brand,” Strong says.
Strong will release two singles: “Work Song,” a funk-finessed, go-go grooved, Robert Glasper-fied reimagination of the Nat Adderley jazz standard, drops in June. “Albert Strong, Sr.”( AKA “Black Love”), a mellow-tempoed, original composition by the trumpeter reminiscent of Count Basie’s “Lil’ Darlin,’” is slated for a late Fall release. Both selections are from Strong’s forthcoming CD, Lovestrong, Vol 2, which is also scheduled for a Fall debut.
Strong grew up in Washington, D.C., graduated from the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts (Diploma,1998), North Carolina Central University (Jazz/Jazz Studies 2003), and North Illinois University (MM, Jazz Studies/Jazz Pedagogy, 2005). He is currently an adjunct trumpet professor at North Carolina Central University. In 2011 Strong co-founded The Art of Cool Project jazz festival, and released his debut CD, Lovestrong, Vol. 1 in 2016, along with a single, “L.e.v.a.s., (Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing).”
Strong has played with a host of star musicians including Branford Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, Clay Aiken, Linda Eder, The Foreign Exchange, Yazarah, and Soul Understated, featuring Mavis 'Swan' Poole.
With his music poised to circle the globe, everyone will hear the breadth and depth of Al Strong, IV’s superior sound. “I would describe my music as being obviously rooted in jazz tradition,” Strong says, “while being unafraid and willing to explore the boundaries of jazz music.”