An impresario in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, Quincy Jones’ career has encompassed the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian.
Celebrating more than 60 years performing and being involved in music, Quincy’s creative magic has spanned over six decades, beginning with the music of the post-swing era and continuing through today’s high-technology, international multi-media hybrids.
Named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, the laurels, awards and accolades have been innumerable: Quincy has won an Emmy Award for his score of the of the opening episode of the landmark TV miniseries, Roots, seven Oscar nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, 27 Grammy Awards, and N.A.R.A.S.’ prestigious Trustees’ Award and The Grammy Living Legend Award. He is the all-time most nominated Grammy artist with a total of 79 Grammy nominations. In 1990, France recognized Quincy with its most distinguished title, the Commandeur de la Legion d’ Honneur. In 2001, Jones was named a Kennedy Center Honoree, for his contributions to the cultural fabric of the United States of America. He was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master – the nation’s highest jazz honor, and was most recently bestowed the National Medal of Arts, our nation’s highest artistic honor.
Reflecting on the changes in pop music over the years, Quincy says, “If there are any common denominators, they are spirit and musicality. I go for the music that gives me goose bumps, music that touches my heart and my soul.” Over the years, Quincy Jones has reached the essence of music and art: the ability to touch people’s feelings and emotions.
With a long history of humanitarian work which began in the 1960’s and 70’s, Jones was one of the key supporters of Jesse Jackson’s Operation P.U.S.H. In 1985, he pioneered the model of using celebrity to raise money and awareness for a cause with “We Are the World.” The song remains the best-selling single of all-time, and raised more than $63 Million for Ethiopian famine relief. More importantly, however, it shined a spotlight on the Ethiopian drought and U.S. Government responded with over $800 million in aid.
In 1999 Quincy Jones joined Bono and Bob Geldof during a meeting with Pope John Paul II as a part of the Jubilee 2000 delegation to end third world debt. The delegation’s visit resulted in $27 billion in third world debt relief for Bolivia, Mozambique, and the Ivory Coast.
In 2004, in front of a live audience of more than a half-million spectators, Jones launched the We Are the Future initiative with a concert featuring Carlos Santana, Alicia Keyes, Josh Groban, Oprah Winfrey, Norah Jones and a host of other entertainers from around the world.
In 2007, Jones and the Harvard School of Public Health joined forces to advance the health and well-being of children worldwide through Project Q, a strategic initiative of School’s Center for Health Communication. Through the strategic use of media, Project Q challenges leaders and citizens of the world to provide essential resources to enable young people to achieve their full potential. Through his personal foundation, The Quincy Jones Foundation, Jones raises awareness and financial resources for initiatives that support global children’s issues in areas of conflict, malaria eradication, clean water and efforts to restore the Gulf Coast (post-Katrina). Philanthropic partners include Malaria No More, Millennium Promise, and R&B singer Usher’s New Look Foundation.