Presented by GRAMMY.com, Living Legends is an editorial series that honors icons in music and celebrates their inimitable legacies and ongoing impact on culture. GRAMMY.com recently caught up with multi-GRAMMY Award winner Herb Alpert, whose work as a bandleader and label head have put him at the forefront of jazz and instrumental music for decades.
Herb Alpert is the “A” in A&M Records (along with “M” Jerry Moss), the legendary label that was home to the Police, Cat Stevens, Quincy Jones and Alpert’s own prolific recording career as a songwriter, trumpet player and leader of the Tijuana Brass.
A towering list of accolades — 14 platinum records, nine GRAMMY Awards, a 2012 National Medal of Arts award from President Obama, for starters — don’t necessarily hint at the equitable and unpretentious man behind the music.
“I’m making music for myself. And when I feel good playing it, it gives me energy, I feel great about it,” the 87-year-old trumpet player tells GRAMMY.com. “If someone else happens to like it, it’s a big win for me.”