Company Profile (as of January 2005)
VideoArts Music Inc. (The Company), was originally established in Tokyo in August of 1984 as “VideoArts Japan”. It has been engaged in the programming and marketing of the international music-oriented home video programs to date. The number of titles released in Japan by The Company is over 600, ranging from pop, rock to jazz, including titles made available under the exclusive license deals with the major labels such as A&M Records, Island Visual Arts, PolyGram Video Int’l and Eagle Rock in London. In December 2003, The Company has released a phenomenal TV show, “Ed Sullivan Shows featuring The Beatles” on DVD, produced by the Emmy and Grammy Award winning producer Andrew Solt.
The Company also has been engaged in the development and original productions of its numerous home video releases which are now counted to more than 40. All the productions have been acclaimed for the outstanding quality and many of them have succeeded in garnering the prestigious awards from the high profile music magazines in the country such as Swing Journal and Adlib. From the time of founding, The Company has strived to originally produce the high quality programs by the artists appealing to the international market. The lineup of artists includes Keith Jarrett, Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, Pat Metheny, Manhattan Transfer, Fourplay, to name a few. While signing the distinctive artists, The Company has always made efforts to preserve the best results in technical aspects as well. For instance, The Gadd Gang Live recorded in Tokyo, 1988 turned out to be one of the world’s first home video program to be digitally recorded and mastered in both audio and on video; Keith Jarrett Trio Live at East, 1993 is one of the first long-running format of music program produced in HDTV System.
In May 1992, VideoArts has expanded its operation to produce and market CD’s in Japan. The titles The Company has released in Japan are over 1,000, ranging from pop, rock, folk, world music to jazz. The Company has carried out a number of licensing deals with the labels such as SteepleChase (a prestigious jazz label in Denmark), Discovery Records (a Warner Brothers company), NYC Records (New York based label headed by Mike Mainieri, a famous vibraphone player and producer).
In 1993, The Company made an exclusive licensing deal with one of then the biggest and most innovative independent label in U.S. named Rykodisc and this label is still a major force in CD business at The Company.
In 1996, The Company entered into an exclusive licensing deal with Dreyfus Jazz in Paris who is creating marvelous jazz programs by Michel Petrucciani, Richard Galliano and others.
In addition, The Company has been engaged in the original productions of jazz/contemporary jazz of its CD releases which count up to more than 100 titles to date. The Company’s roster includes the artists such as Kimiko Itoh, a top jazz vocalist in this country whose albums are available through Columbia (Sony) in U. S., Naoko Terai, a female jazz violinist who is now one of the leading jazz players in Japanese music scene today. At the same time, The Company has been producing a large number of international musicians and marketing these titles throughout the world. The names included in this project are The Manhattan Jazz Quintet (led by David Matthews), Eddie Henderson, Toninho Horta, McCoy Tyner, Bud Shank, Freddy Cole and many others. In November 2003, The Company has released the album by Harvey Mason with the trios especially formed with the players selected by Harvey Mason himself for this recording. The artists included on this album are Hank Jones, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea with many others. This album, “Trios - with all my heart” won a Swing Journal’s “2003 Jazz Disc Silver Award”. All of these productions have been highly acclaimed in the industry.
The Company has been engaged in licensing and original production of the music-oriented TV programs for various TV stations in Japan. To date, The Company has originally produced more than 30 programs for its clients such as JSB (WOWOW), NHK and others.