Don Was joins the Board for DIME Detroit

Don Was is taking a leading role at the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME), the school is set to announce.

The Detroit-born producer and label executive has been named to DIME’s board of directors, joining founders Kevin Nixon and Sarah Clayman, along with Charlie Rothstein, senior managing director of venture capital firm Beringea.

The DIME appointment is the latest entry on a long, high-profile resume for the 63-year-old Was, who cofounded the ’80s band Was (Not Was) and went on to a Grammy-winning production career with acts including Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Was, who has served as president of the Blue Note Records jazz label since 2012, also stages the annual Detroit All-Star Revue as part of the Concert of Colors.

“Detroit artists have made a mind-boggling contribution to the world’s musical culture,” Was said in a statement. “DIME is a world-class facility that will play a big role in attracting musicians from all over the country and developing the next generation of musicians right here in Detroit. I’m thrilled to contribute in any way I can to this exciting new effort in our city.”

The announcement caps a busy year for DIME, which opened in 2014 in downtown Detroit’s Capitol Park district. The school has partnered with Metropolitan State University of Denver, launched the record label Original 1265 Recordings and hosted visits with musicians such as George Clinton and Nate Watts.

“We hold Don’s incredible musical and industry experience in the highest esteem and we are flattered that he has agreed to join us in a leadership role at DIME,” Nixon said in a statement.

Nixon, Clayman and Jena Irene — whose Original 1265 debut is due next year — joined several DIME students to meet Stevie Wonder ahead of the star’s homecoming performance at Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 21.

-Article taken from Detroit Free Press