In May 2018 Delmark Records LLC purchased Delmark. Julia A. Miller became the CEO & President of the label and Elbio Barilari its artistic Director. Longtime Delmark’s GM and engineer Steve Wagner continued with the company until May 2020.
Delmark Records is the oldest continuously operating jazz and blues independent record label in the United States. It was founded by Robert G. Koester in St. Louis, Missouri in 1953, originally under the name “Delmar.” In 1958, Koester and the label relocated to Chicago with the label’s current name: Delmark.
Throughout its history, Delmark has released records by historical jazz artists such as Sun Ra, Sonny Stitt, Jimmy Forrest, Wynton Kelly, Curtis Fuller, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Fred Anderson, Von & George Freeman, Ernest Dawkins, Ari Brown, Ken Vandermark, Jason Stein, Nicole Mitchell, Rob Mazurek, Paul Giallorenzo and so many more.
Delmark’s stellar blues catalogue includes, among others: Junior Wells, Little Walter, T-bone Walker, Big Joe Williams, J. B. Hutto, Robert Nighthawk, Luther Allison, Magic Sam, Jimmy Dawkins, Jimmy Johnson, Sleepy John Estes, Arthur Crudup, Otis Rush, Roosevelt Sykes, Carey & Lurrie Bell, Eddie C. Campbell, Big Time Sarah, Eddie Clearwater, Dave Specter, Steve Freund, Linsey Alexander, Tail Dragger, Studebaker John, Billy Flynn and Jimmy Burns.
The label also has released albums by musicians from Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. The first record was Roscoe Mitchell’s Sound (1966) which received a five-star review in Downbeat. This was followed by a string of releases on Delmark that highlighted the new music being played in Chicago by artists associated with the AACM including Muhal Richard Abrams, Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, and Anthony Braxton. Additionally, Delmark released two of the earliest Sun Ra albums, Sun Song and Sound of Joy, in 1967 and 1968 respectively.
Today, Delmark is thriving. The label is a world force on the blues & jazz music scene with recent releases of jazz albums by Geof Bradfield, The Soul Message Band, Volcano Radar with Paquito D’Rivera, Fareed Haque and Goran Ivanovic, Dee Alexander with the Metropolitan Jazz Octet and the Fat Babies.
The blues new releases since May 2018 include Rockwell Avenue Blues Band, Willie Buck, Johnny Burgin, Breezy Rodio, Dave Specter with special guest Jorma Kaukonen, Jimmy Johnson and most recently Linsey Alexander and Johnny Burgin’s “No Border Blues” project.
Additionally Delmark re-released Roscoe Mitchell’s historical “Sound” album, going back to the original mixes by Stu Black.
- Delmark started a product line or reel to reel master copies of some the work of some iconic artists such as Junior Wells & Jimmy Forrest. Sun Ra and Magic Sam tapes will be available ASAP.
- During the recent 2018 Chicago Blues Festival the new management of Delmark Records renewed the label’s commitment to the blues & jazz communities both by keeping alive its huge catalogue of historical recordings as well as continuing to record and release the living treasures of Chicago and US music.
- WELCOME! to explore our website and to order Delmark CDs, LPs, DVD’s as well titles from our subsidiary labels Sackville, Jump, Triangle Jazz and Boxholder directly from us or download them from your favorite providers.