Herb Alpert’s list of accomplishments is longer than, well, a trombone. He is the composer, arranger, trumpet player and leader of the famed Tijuana Brass, as well as a record producer (he and partner Jerry Moss founded A&M records), painter, sculptor and philanthropist.
Alpert has had five number one hits, 15 gold and 14 platinum records, won eight Grammy Awards and was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His art work is regularly exhibited at galleries around the country and the Herb Alpert Foundation has given away well over $100 million since it was founded in 1988, mostly in support of arts education programs.
Now nearing age 77, Alpert is still recording. His latest album is “I Feel You,” with his wife, singer Lani Hall. The two are currently in New York at the Carlyle Hotel for a two-week run, starting tonight.
Alpert spoke on the phone last week with The Arty Semite about growing up Jewish in Los Angeles, discovering the trumpet and becoming a star.
Curt Schleier: Can you tell me a little about your Jewish upbringing?