Carl Jefferson, the founder of the Concord Jazz Festival, has died of liver cancer. He was 75.
Jefferson, a onetime auto dealer, also founded the Grammy award-winning Concord Jazz Records Co., and was instrumental in the founding of the Concord Pavilion. He died Wednesday.
After serving in World War II and the Korean War, Jefferson started an auto dealership in Concord. In 1969, he started a jazz festival at a local park that grew into an international event.
At the first jazz festival, guitarists Joe Pass and Herb Ellis complained to Jefferson about their difficulties getting recorded.
Jefferson produced 10 albums before officially starting Concord Jazz Records 23 years ago. The company collected 40 Grammy nominations and won eight.