Artist Details

Orrin Keepnews

One of the most respected of all jazz producers, Orrin Keepnews had a long and productive career. He graduated from Columbia University in 1943 and was originally primarily interested in Dixieland. Keepnews wrote for The Record Changer starting in 1948, which was started by his friend Bill Grauer. Four years later he helped reissue '20s recordings with Grauer when they started RCA Victor's X label. Keepnews and Grauer founded the Riverside label in 1953, and soon Keepnews became interested in more modern jazz styles. The label scored a coup when they signed up Thelonious Monk in 1955, and other important artists produced by Keepnews for Riverside during the next decade included Wes Montgomery, Bill Evans, and Cannonball Adderley, all of whom did some of their finest work under the producers' creative guidance. Riverside was a significant label during its existence, which ended in bankruptcy in 1964 shortly after Grauer's death.