SOURCE: McNally Smith College of Music

January 18, 2007 09:00 ET

Grammy Award-Winning Producer and Music Industry Pioneer Andre Fischer Gives Back as New Dean of McNally Smith College of Music

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 18, 2007 -- Prolific, passionate and successful producer Andre Fischer has packed up his Grammys, his forty platinum and gold albums and American music awards and left sunny Los Angeles for the frozen lakes of Minnesota to assume his new position as Dean of McNally Smith College of Music.

Fischer brings a lifetime of musical experience to the students of McNally Smith ranging from one of his earliest achievements as a founding member and drummer of the seminal 70's and 80's funk band, Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan, to executive positions he held at various record/music/film companies as: Senior Vice President MCA/Universal Urban Music Department, Vice President of Jazz A&R for Quincy Jones' Qwest/Warner Bros., Vice President of Publishing Development, 20th Century Fox Records & Films where he and fellow work mate Ronnie Vance signed the likes of James Ingram, Bruce Hornsby, and Joseph Williams, just to name a few.

Fischer played a key role in the creation and the success of his former wife Natalie Cole's seven-time Grammy award-winning album "Unforgettable" as well her other Grammy award-winning album "Take a Look."

Andre has produced, executive produced, recorded and/or performed with a diverse roster of preeminent artists such as: Janet Jackson, Tony Bennett, Al Green, The Rolling Stones, Gladys Knight, and Frank Sinatra, among many others.

At McNally Smith College of Music, Andre is involved in the development of curriculum for the Recording Technology and Music Business programs. He also shares his expertise with McNally Smith students by teaching courses in Music Industry Careers, Production, and Record Companies. Why is he doing this? Fischer states it simply, "Its time to give back!"

Previously, Fischer served as Production Instructor for the acclaimed Thornton School's Music Industry Department at the University of Southern California.

"Successful producers put their egos aside to create great product." Fischer stresses, "I don't have an Andre agenda, I have a musical agenda and for all of my years as an independent producer and musician, all I wanted was a creative home to embrace me." Andre chuckles, "The funny thing is I was born in Minneapolis. I left there when I was in the fifth grade."

Indeed, he has taken on some famously challenging artists and flipped the script into gold and platinum. When Nina Simone, the arch-diva and genius, was put in Andre's hands, she flourished. "You just needed to listen to Nina. We all need someone to talk to. Somehow, I'm always the surrogate manager, lawyer, father, agent, and confidant and I have embraced these roles." Andre has accepted the task of Dean as a way to mentor passionate young musicians unprepared for the rigors and reality of the music world.

"I have one purpose here to expand on what I was doing at USC and beyond. Most of the information that I haven't received from direct experience was freely given to me by my elders and surrogate fathers of a sort. My Father, Stewart Fischer, Professor Richard Evans, Jerry Butlter, Curtis Mayfield, Al Schmitt, Jay Lasker, Lee Young Sr., and Neil Portnow, current President of the Grammys, have been essential in forming the person I am today and any of the information they imparted to me was for sharing."

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