It was fan appreciation that brought the young 14-year-old Lucoff to visit Gosa. The meeting proved to be the catalyst for Lucoff’s own radio experience in college (KCR, KSDS) and public radio (KCRW). In 1982, Gosa introduced Lucoff (who was by then working in the voice-over department at Herb Tannen Associates) to Darlene Chan of Festival Productions. She gave him a job as transportation coordinator for the 1982 Kool Jazz Festival in Los Angeles; ask Lucoff about the time he got lost in Watts with Oliver Lake.
“My stint at Festival Productions provided me with an invaluable opportunity to appreciate the experience of the artist by putting me in direct contact with world-class musicians,” states Lucoff. While working as jazz editor for Music Connection magazine, Lucoff began his career as a publicist working for Playboy Enterprises, signing on to handle media relations for the 1983 Playboy Jazz Festival. Through his Playboy Festival experience with the Modern Jazz Quartet, Lucoff met publicist Peter Levinson. They struck a deal that called for Lucoff to make the pilgrimage to the jazz capitol of the world - New York City.
While an associate at Peter Levinson Communications, Lucoff developed relationships with such esteemed artists as Antonio Carlos Jobim, B.B. King, Artie Shaw, Dr. Billy Taylor, Woody Herman, Bill Evans, The Count Basie Orchestra, Mel Torme and Rosemary Clooney.
In late 1985, Irving Azoff, then President of MCA Records, announced the formation of a new jazz division headed by Zebra Records founder Ricky Schultz. Lucoff was hired as National Director of Publicity for MCA Jazz. MCA was the only major label to have a staff solely promoting jazz. Schultz, Lucoff, Marketing Director Randall Kennedy and Promotion Director, Brenda Winfield, got off to a fast start by signing Larry Carlton, Henry Butler, Mike Metheny, George Howard, Yellowjackets, Jack DeJohnette and Michael Brecker. The prestigious Impulse! catalogue was revived and shortly thereafter, MCA Records was recognized as “Jazz Label of the Year” in Billboard magazine. However, MCA Jazz abruptly closed on November 18, 1988 as part of a major company-wide restructuring, and Lucoff took the opportunity to establish his own company, DL Media.
Since the beginning of operations in the winter of 1989, DL Media has represented the prestigious jazz label Blue Note Records, spearheading their 50th, 60th, and 70th, anniversary campaigns through 2009. The agency currently consults Mack Avenue, Justin Time and Resonance Records, Motema Music and the Concord Music Group. DL Media has also consulted artists or recordings that have appeared on the following labels; Mosaic Records, Warner Brothers, Dreyfus Jazz, MusicMasters, PolyGram, London, Zoo Entertainment, Tri-Star Columbia, Cryptogramophone, Chesky, Columbia/Legacy, Atlantic, Marsalis Music, Ayva Music, ArtistShare, Artists House, Sonance, High Note, Artistry Music Group, Red Baron, RMM, RCA Victor, Evidence Music, Justin Time, Pau Brasil, Som De Gente, Denon, Zebra, Zoo, MCA, Munich Records, Act Music, Island, Open Art, Orange Mountain Music, Garagista Music, Jaggo, IPO, Injo Music, GRP, Liberty, ECM, Universal Classics, Candid, ESC, Challenge, Origen, Avya Musica, Hip Bop, Impulse!, Soundpost, Piadrum, Random Chance, Red Giant, 88’s, Koch, Indianola, Free Falls Entertainment, Hillsboro Records, Sonic Portraits, Lipstick, Shanachie, TaylorMade, Vertical Jazz, Kind of Blue, DIW, Elektra Nonesuch, Music of the World, Windham Hill, Dare2 Records, Sunnyside Records, Verve France and Verve Music Group, Pimento, Crescent Moon, Intuition, Savoy, TP Recordings, Amherst, Ellipsis Arts, RKM, Chiaroscuro, Double Dave Music, Heads Up, Four Quarters Entertainment, Sony Masterworks, Half Note and Monterey Jazz Festival Records.
Additionally, DL Media has consulted artists representing a wide breadth of traditional and contemporary musical genres: Acoustic Alchemy, Al Green, Willie Nelson, John Sebastian, The Wood Brothers, Charlie Hunter, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Jim Hall, Esperanza Spalding, Chick Corea, Harry Connick, Jr., The Derek Trucks Band, Max Roach, Branford Marsalis, Charles Lloyd, Tuck & Patti, Les McCann, Jackie King, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington Jr., Jazz Is Dead, Steve Morse, Derek Trucks, Patricia Barber, Shadowfax, Shirley Horn, Abbey Lincoln, Terri Lyne Carrington, Clarence Clemons, Joe Zawinul, Bill Laswell, Roy Haynes, Mark Isham, Andre Previn, Ronnie Laws, Dianne Reeves, Bobby McFerrin, Courtney Pine, Bobby Hutcherson, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Benny Golson ,McCoy Tyner, Gary Burton, Keith Jarrett, Woody Allen, Stanley Turrentine, Alvin Batiste, Jimmy Cobb, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Charlie Haden and US3.
“I’ve always felt that there is great music being produced all over the world and these artists needed a voice in the US,” states Lucoff. As a result, DL Media has successfully ventured into the Brazilian and world music field representing artists such as: Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento, Hermeto Pascoal, Toninho Horta, Ricardo Silvera, Marisa Monte, Carlinhos Brown, Mahlathini and The Mahotella Queens, Fela Kuti, and Zulu Spear, Kodo, Alpha Blondy, Bakithi Kumalo, Lucky Dube, Salif Keita,The Skatalites,Elaine Elias and Hugh Masekela.
We also actively promote the Latin music and consumer press, as well as introducing to the English speaking world such notable artists as Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Eddie Palmieri, Bebo and Chucho Valdes, Arturo Sandoval, Miguel Zenon, David Sanchez, Michel Camilo, Los Van Van, and Paquito D' Rivera. “Latin music has traditionally been marketed to a small sector of the population,” states DL Media Canada consultant and Diana Nazareth, who is of Colombian descent. “Latin music isn’t just salsa or rancheras, there is a wide breadth of musical styles that don’t get the attention they deserve. Pianist Eddie Palmieri is dealing with these stereotypes. He currently serves on the Board of Governors for the New York chapter of NARAS, who championed the cause for a long overdue Latin Jazz Grammy category.”
DL Media’s interest in current music and world cultures is also reflected in the festivals they have consulted; Mellon Jazz Festival (Philadelphia), Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival (NY, Boston, Phila. and Washington D.C.), Akbank Jazz Festival (Istanbul), Jazz Marciac (France) and along with BET Event Productions - festivals located in Iceland, India, the Caribbean. We presently represent: Jazz Aspen Snowmass (Aspen, Colorado), Detroit International Jazz Festival, Portland Jazz Festival (Oregon), Tuscia In Jazz (Tuscia, Italy) and Barcelona International Jazz (Spain).
From 1995 through 2009, DL Media directed the press efforts for the Int'l Association of Jazz Education conference and Don Lucoff served as their Industry Panels Director. He currently serves as the Communications Committee chair on the JAI (Jazz Alliance International) board and is an honorary member of the JJA (Jazz Journalists Association), handling press relations for their annual awards event. Lucoff has been a voting member of NARAS’s Philadelphia chapter since 1998 and serves on the National Advisory Board of The Jazz Foundation of America.