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Promoter, DJ and Label Chief Gene Norman Dies at 93

Operated Crescendo club and GNP Crescendo Records

Art Pepper, Wardell Gray, Gene Norman and Shorty Rogers in the early '50s
Gene Norman

Gene Norman, a jazz club owner and disc jockey who launched and operated the popular GNP Crescendo independent record label, died at his home in Hollywood, Calif., Nov. 2. He was 93. The cause of death was not reported.

Born Eugene Nabatoff in New York, Norman graduated from the University of Wisconsin and then began his radio career in San Francisco, before relocating to Los Angeles in the 1940s. There he became a popular jazz disc jockey on various local stations, including KLAC. He parlayed that popularity into promoting a series of jazz concerts over the course of two decades, including dates featuring Benny Goodman, Peggy Lee and Erroll Garner. His Blues Jubilee programs at the Shrine Auditorium in the early 1950s, according to an obituary published on Norman’s website, attracted some of the first integrated audiences in the United States.

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