Laura Hartmann established LVanHart Artist Productions in 1997–a company devoted to developing the talent of rising jazz artists. This organization encompasses all aspects of its client’s business from personal management to producing tours and special projects that further enhance their careers. LVanHart is dedicated to bringing music into schools and universities around the world in order to keep jazz awareness alive while cultivating future audiences. With a strong, artistic vision, LVanHart continues to establish itself as one of the most innovative management companies in jazz today.
Hartmann is formally educated as a classical flutist, educator and recording engineer. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Music and Music Education from the College of St. Rose and a Masters of Music Performance from the Brooklyn Conservatory at Brooklyn College. Upon completion of her degree, she went on to work as an Administrative Assistant at the Aspen Music Festival and School. She later became Operations Director at Herbert Barrett Management. It is here where Hartmann gained experience in being a manager where she was responsible for touring aspects of the entire artist roster, both classical and jazz. In addition to working with classical artists such as Sherrill Milnes, The Guarneri String Quartet, The Hanover Band, Marietta Simpson, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, she had the opportunity to work closely with pianist, Dr. Billy Taylor, who introduced her to the world of jazz.
While at HBM, Hartmann was production coordinator for several major events for Dr. Taylor including a week at the Blue Note in New York City in celebration of his 75th birthday, JVC presents Billy Taylor’s 50 Years of Making Music at Carnegie Hall, and collaboration with The Parson’s Dance Company, Step into My Dream.
While on the road with The Mingus Big Band in 1996, Hartmann met saxophonist Steve Wilson who expressed his need for a manager. She then spent much of the following year learning about the needs of jazz artists, and the demand for a different approach to management in the jazz industry. In February of 1998, Hartmann was given the chance by Ron Moss and Chick Corea to co-produce Wilson’s first album for Stretch Records. It was this opportunity that encouraged her to leave Herbert Barrett Management to operate LVanHart full time.
Since forming her own business, Hartmann has had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with many of today’s great jazz musicians and has developed her own roster of fine young stars which have included Steve Wilson, Mike Stern, Terell Stafford, Ray Vega, Paul Bollenback, Joe Locke, Ray Drummond, James Williams, Michael Wolff, Diane Monroe, Steve Davis, Virginia Mayhew, Tom Harrell, Gary Smulyan, Ryan Truesdell and the sextet, One For All.
Producing has always been an important component of LVanHart Artist Productions. Hartmann’s concert production credits include The Loft at Quilty’s (SoHo in NYC) where the series featured pairing food and music. Artists that appeared on the series were Gary Bartz, Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash Duo, Scott Colley, Ralph Alessi, Ravi Coltrane, Paul Bollenback, Dave Samuels, Chip Jackson and many others. She has produced four tribute for Chamber Music America, to Dr. Billy Taylor, Chick Corea, The American Brass Quintet and Marian McPartland. The tribute to Chick Corea took place at Symphony Space in NYC with performances of Corea’s compositions, including his string quartet, by Gary Burton, Tim Garland, Antonio Sanchez, Steve Davis, Geoffrey Keezer, Hans Glaischnig, Marcus Gilmore, Diane Monroe and the Harlem String Quartet. In 2011, she paid tribute to her dear friend and mentor, Dr. Billy Taylor, producing a concert at the College of St. Rose. This event was a highlight of Hartmann’s career which included the opportunity to interview Ramsey Lewis about their mutual friend, followed by a solo performance by Lewis.
Hartmann has co-produced three of Steve Wilson’s recordings: Generations (with Mulgrew Miller, Ray Drummond and Ben Riley) and Passages (with Bruce Barth, Ed Howard, Adam Cruz and Nicholas Payton), for Stretch Records, and Soulful Song for MAXJAZZ ( featuring Bruce Barth, Ed Howard, Adam Cruz, Carla Cook, Rene Marie, Phillip Manuel, Billy Kilson and James Genus). She was assistant producer on Ray Vega’s critically acclaimed CD (his second for the Concord Picante label), Boperation. On Michael Wolff’s CD, Joe’s Strut, Hartmann was Production Coordinator. In 2014 she produced three recordings, Steve Wilson & Wilsonian’s Grain: Live at the Village Vanguard (Random Act Records), Diane Monroe/Tony Miceli Duo’s Dreambox Media release, Alone Together, and was the Executive Producer for the Steve Wilson Lewis Nash Duo’s Duologue (MCG Jazz).
In January 1999, Hartmann produced the first-ever jazz presentation, “The Jazz Clinic,” for the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) national conference. She was subsequently invited to produce a second one the following year. The clinics featured LVanHart Artists (Steve Wilson, Steve Davis, Ray Vega, Terell Stafford, Gary Smulyan, Jim Rotundi, Joe Locke, Paul Bollenback, David Hazeltine, Ray Drummond and extended ‘family members including Jeff “Tain” Watts, Orrin Evans, and James Genus.
She is a frequent moderator and panelist and has led sessions at the APAP and Chamber Music America conferences. In 2010, she moderated a discussion of the marriage of jazz and classical music in writing for strings with panelists Chick Corea, Billy Childs, Ida Kavafian, Phillip Ying, and Fred Sherry. She has also led panels on the business of jazz.
Hartmann has been invited to conduct workshops on the music industry including The College of St. Rose (Albany, NY), Maple Hill High School (Maple Hill, NY), the Hartt School of Music (New Haven, CT), The University of Maryland (College Park), SUNY Purchase (Purchase, NY), SUNY New Paltz (New Paltz, NY).
Hartmann currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Chamber Music America, and is an adjunct faculty member at the College of St. Rose.
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