Malibu music legend Herb Alpert—accomplished trumpeter, visual artist and philanthropist—is setting off on a new course: documentary filmmaking.
His first offering is called “Herb Alpert is…” It’s two hours of his life, his passion and, of course, his music.
Although there are few red carpets these days, Herb deemed this to be so exciting he decided to do one anyway (virtually, of course).
The premiere was followed by a question-and-answer session with documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld, moderated by the Grammy Museum’s executive director Scott Goldman.
The film features Herb’s life story and his musical rise to stardom.
Trish Sullivan-Rothberg summed it up this way: “I have no idea what to say but except this film is an absolute blast. It is a loving tribute to the man and his life. Herb is a cool dude who makes great music and art.”
Herb grew up in Boyle Heights; he picked up a trumpet when he was knee high and never stopped. He was the force behind the wildly popular Tijuana Brass, which sold more than 72 million albums.
Herb turned the Brass into gold, earning 15 gold and 14 platinum records as well as winning nine Grammy Awards between 1966 and 2014. He even outsold the Beatles in 1966.
A career-spanning Herb Alpert box set is now available in two formats, each including a coffee table book: an LP format featuring a five-disc vinyl set or a three CD set.
Both physical formats feature 63 songs spanning five decades of Alpert’s career. The coffee table book boasts 180 pages of vintage photos, liner notes and an essay from respected music journalist Bud Scoppa.
The movie appears to be a hit, defining the life of a most creative personality and his journey from Boyle Heights to Malibu.
Colleagues ranging from Questlove to Sting and from Quincy Jones to Burt Bacharach, Richard Carpenter, Sergio Mendes, Bill Moyers and Billy Bob Thornton bring their unique voices and perspectives to telling this remarkable story.
Alpert co-founded the indie label A&M Records with his business partner, Jerry Moss, which recorded artists as varied as Carole King, Cat Stevens, The Carpenters, Janet Jackson, Peter Frampton, Joe Cocker, Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes and The Police. A&M would go on to become one of the most successful independent labels in history. He has shown his striking work as an abstract painter and sculptor worldwide. One of his sculptures can be seen as you drive down PCH near Rambla Vista by the old courthouse. Through the Herb Alpert Foundation, he has given significant philanthropic support to educational programs in the arts nationwide, from the Harlem School of the Arts and Los Angeles City College to CalArts and UCLA.
You’d imagine Sting would be a difficult-to-impress musician, but not when it comes to Alpert, who he calls a “cultural icon.”
To give it an even sweeter taste of honey, Herb received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2012. Olé!