FARMINGTON HILLS (WWJ) –– Panasonic Automotive Systems Co. of America, a supplier of mobile audio and in-vehicle infotainment systems, announced a working agreement with the legendary jazz record label Blue Note Records to develop custom branded audio systems and content for the global automotive market.

The agreement provides the framework for the two to work together to create customized audio systems, and provide exclusive Blue Note content for Panasonic’s automotive customers.

Founded in 1939, Blue Note Records became known for classic recordings from legendary artists such as Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, Jimmy Smith, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.

Blue Note has since established itself as the premiere jazz label in the world, home to leading jazz talent like Robert Glasper, Jason Moran, Terence Blanchard and Joe Lovano, while at the same time expanding its scope to other areas of important adult music including artists such as Norah Jones, Amos Lee, Rosanne Cash, Van Morrison, and Elvis Costello and The Roots.

In 2011, veteran record producer and musician Don Was joined Blue Note as chief creative officer and soon became president of the label. With Was at the helm, Blue Note has renewed its dedication to label founder Alfred Lion’s vision that “any particular style of playing which represents an authentic way of musical feeling is genuine expression.”

“For nearly three-quarters of a century, Blue Note Records has been considered the marquee record label among jazz aficionados. Having the ability to collaborate with such a storied music brand will afford Panasonic unprecedented access to Blue Note’s unrivaled legacy, and will become a valuable asset to our OEM customers,” said Tom Gebhardt, President of Panasonic Automotive. “We are always searching for ways to help automakers better connect with their customers. Combining nearly 75 years of Blue Note history with Panasonic’s 60 years of automotive experience creates a level of expertise no one has ever witnessed.”

“We are excited to be working with such a creative partner that shares our passion of trying to bring our unique style of music to the widest possible audience,” Was said. “Our goal is to work together with Panasonic to develop products that will bring Blue Note’s emotion and authentic artistic appeal directly to new vehicle buyers.”

According to a recently released report by information and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS), in 2012 Panasonic remained the top supplier of automotive infotainment systems worldwide, “putting it at the forefront of the fast-growing market for equipment that delivers information and entertainment to motorists.”

The report finds that Panasonic along with the rest of the Top 10 suppliers accounted for nearly two-thirds of overall motor vehicle infotainment revenue in 2012.”

Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America is based in Peachtree City, Ga., with an office in Farmington Hills.


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