Founded in the late 1990’s in Detroit, Michigan, Mack Avenue Records’ beginnings were conceived out of a genuine love for jazz and the artists that create it. Gretchen Valade, the label’s founder, sat at the grand piano in her living room composing Nat King Cole and Peggy Lee–inspired vocal charts and wanted to find a way to get them recorded. In that moment Mack Avenue was born. The label’s first few recordings spotlighted both young talent and storied jazz veterans, a mix which contributed to our artistic philosophy in the years that followed.
With new recordings by George Shearing, Gerald Wilson, OscarCastro-Neves, Terry Gibbs and a handful of newcomers, passion guided our early agenda and shortly a business infrastructure emerged to match it. Creatively we were driven by the idea that we could be a partner to highly-acclaimed established artists looking to further their careers and, at the same time, nurture the next generation of jazz’s undiscovered greats. Soon, Mack Avenue’s releases were being noticed globally for their attention to artistic merit as well as sonic and visual quality.