News

Jazz Musician Herb Alpert’s Art Encore

January 19, 2014

Herb Alpert is a man of many talents. As a jazz musician, writer, and producer, he has broken multiple industry records—five albums simultaneously in the top 20 of Billboard’s Pop Album Chart and the only recording artist to hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist and an instrumentalist—outsold the Beatles in 1966, and co-founded the successful record label A&M Records. Not to mention, he is nominated for his ninth Grammy this year. It goes without saying that Alpert has led a very successful tenure as a musician. But he’s also a painter and a sculptor. “I think painting is a bit like jazz,” Alpert said in his 2002 documentary Music for Your Eyes. “When you play jazz, you’re playing your own life—playing your experiences ... things that have happened good or bad.” The instrumentalist began painting in 1970 after suffering a physical and emotional breakdown due to a stressful decade of non-stop touring and recording. Paralyzed at the slightest attempt to play the trumpet, Alpert broke up his band, the Tijuana Brass, built a small studio outside of his home, and turned his jazz beats into paint strokes. “I had no intention of being a professional artist,” Alpert told The Daily Beast at his gallery, opening Wednesday night. “It started out as my own amazement and then it turned into something that became ingrained in me. It’s something that I get a lot of energy and pleasure from.” Some two decades later, Alpert had returned to the recording studio, but continued to paint regularly. It was around that time that artist Kristan Marvell introduced Alpert to sculpture and they began to collaborate— something that is common in music, but an anomaly when it comes to painting or sculpture. The sculpture exhibition, which also includes dancer turned artist Anita Huffington, at ACA Galleries in New York is from a series that Alpert began a little over a decade ago. “I took a trip to Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest,” Alpert revealed. “Ther