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Herb Alpert Sculpts the Same Way He Plays Jazz

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Herb Alpert once put the "A" in A & M records, but now this multi-talented musician isn't just making records, he's breaking records, taking his music, art and philanthropy to new heights. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

Jazz legend Herb Alpert is at Lincoln Center, but not inside a concert hall with his horn, he’s across the plaza showcasing his newest sculptures. Some of them top 15 feet. Plus he has a tandem exhibit in Chelsea. But it's all the same to him.

“Playing jazz. I just close my eyes and play and for the most part that’s what I do when I’m developing these sculptures,” said Alpert.

Best known as the namesake for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, this trumpet player, composer and onetime music industry executive has also been doing fine art for more than 40 years. The new works were inspired by totems he saw on a recent trip to the pacific northwest.

“My own version of it. Then I started riffing on these, I call them kind of jazz totems,” he said.

And he did his own version of an old classic to win his 9th Grammy award this year and it features his wife, Grammy winner Lani Hall.

“I started playing ‘Putting on the Ritz’ and my wife was singing on it and we attached this music video to it, with Tabitha and Napoleon from “So You Think You Can Dance.” They did the choreography and it’s gone crazy on YouTube,” he said.

When you look at Alpert's work, you can almost hear his music and just in case you can’t, the gallery is playing his tunes throughout the run of the show.

Some of Herb and Lani's other handiwork, a $5 million donation to the Harlem School of the Arts, the largest in the school's history.

“Once kids get into sculpting, painting, dancing, poetry whatever it is,” he said. “They get a discipline going if they want to be good at it and that discipline folds over into the academics so it’s a win, win situation.”

Alpert’s sculptures are at ACA Galleries through March 1 and at Dante Park through April 25.

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