Entertainment icon, mentor and humanitarian Quincy Jones enters the digital world today with the debut episode of his new video podcast series. The video podcast debut with Episode 1, through Quincy's partnership with Wizzard Media, one of the world's leading podcast aggregators and distributors, is the first in a video podcast series comprising at least 26 episodes in Year One, providing unique and unprecedented access and a behind-the-scenes look at Quincy's world, including footage of him at work in the studio with some of today's biggest stars and at exclusive events around the globe. Also featured in upcoming video podcast episodes will be Quincy on film, popular culture, politics and events on the national and international stage.
Quincy's video podcast series is produced by Quincy with The Robert Thorne Company, which is partnered with Quincy for a just-introduced lifestyle range of consumer products and his new digital platform distributed to a network of millions online. The video podcast series is the first phase in the launch of the new digital platform, in a move intended to capture the surge of interest for entertainment content delivered through online and digital media. Management company The Firm and The Robert Thorne Company also work with Quincy on upcoming film, TV and radio projects, along with Quincy Jones Productions EVP Kimiko Fox and VP Adam Fell and Endeavor Talent Agency.
The 27-time Grammy winner's new digital platform expands with its second phase, the Fall debut of quincyjones.com, an online destination featuring incomparable access to the wisdom and experience and the strong celebrity and artist ties of this living legend with the interactivity of a social network embracing musicians, producers, artists and Quincy's other followers worldwide. It will include Quincy's Vault that will give users access to previously unreleased audio and video of Quincy and the legendary performers he's worked with as well as a virtual Quincy's Academy where users will network and share their artistry with music professionals, like-minded peers and consumers and have access to digital record distribution and marketing opportunities. The online community will be initially drawn together by interest in Quincy's incredible career, and will evolve organically with its members' tastes and interests, putting its ultimate shape and purpose largely in the hands of its users.
The video podcasts featuring Quincy are the latest innovation in his pioneering use of cutting-edge technology. Throughout Quincy's six decades in show business, he has consistently sought out and incorporated the newest technology into his legendary body of work. In 1953, he was the first arranger/conductor to utilize the newly-invented Fender electric bass in audio recordings, which dramatically changed the sound of popular music. In the late '60s, Quincy used one of the first synthesizers on his Ironside TV series theme music, which brought electronic music into the mainstream.
In the debut video podcast episode, Quincy is in the studio producing Celine Dion's version of I Knew I Loved You, recorded for the tribute album We All Love Ennio Morricone and slated for inclusion on Dion's upcoming Greatest Hits album. The song was originally the instrumental theme of the 1984 film Once Upon a Time in America, starring Robert DeNiro. Quincy asked his close friends, veteran lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman to pen lyrics for the song for Celine. The new Quincy-produced version was first performed publicly by Celine on this year's Academy Awards telecast to an audience of more than a billion viewers worldwide, and paid tribute to Morricone who was feted with an honorary Oscar. The video podcast allows viewers to experience the recording and production process with Quincy and Celine and hear Quincy sharing candid and personal thoughts on the project.
"I live to touch and share my love and wisdom with people around the world," said Quincy. "My podcasts are a powerful new way to reach out to millions and bring the best I have to offer to an extended new audience online."
The Robert Thorne Company's CEO Robert Thorne added, "Quincy will guide online viewers to digital content they'll want to experience, and a new state-of-the-art community of dialog and interactivity will emerge. Quincy's new digital platform will be a must-visit destination online."
As part of Quincy's partnership with Wizzard Media, which distributes one-third of the world's top audio and video podcasts, Quincy's video podcasts will be available on www.quincyjones.com, MySpace and Wizzard Media Channel on iTunes, and other leading podcast directories including Yahoo!, VH1, Syndic8 and Podcast Pickle. Wizzard Media's international network is growing on a monthly basis with publisher downloads in May surpassing 87 million, and will partner Quincy with ad campaigns from leading national brands and provide marketing and content development support.
"Quincy Jones is a legend and an innovator. With the material he'll bring to his video podcasts, he's certain to create an exciting and entertaining experience for podcast viewers," said Chris Spencer, CEO of Wizzard Media. "Given the huge response we anticipate through our focused research, our advertising team sees Quincy's podcast as an extraordinary business and revenue opportunity. We couldn't be more proud the ever-prestigious and always-cool Quincy chose Wizzard Media as his exclusive global podcast partner."
The video podcast debut is part of an all-encompassing initiative from Quincy Jones Enterprises, a partnership of Quincy and The Robert Thorne Company. TRTC manages Quincy's digital platform and his new lifestyle range of consumer products, comprising a full product offering in apparel and accessories, consumer and professional audio and electronics, publishing, health and grooming and home goods.
Just honored with the Grammy Foundation's Leadership Award July 28 at a star-studded, widely reported Los Angeles gala, Quincy Jones' career comprises the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, television producer, record company executive, television station owner, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian. As Fortune magazine recently noted, "Quincy's both cool and hot, all at once." He was just dubbed the "godfather of entertainment" on Black Enterprise's Top 50 Hollywood Power Brokers list and has worked beside such legends and current stars as Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, Bono, Celine Dion, Will Smith, Oprah and dozens more.
Among his awards is an Emmy, seven Oscar nominations, an honorary Oscar, 27 Grammys and dozens more prestigious awards in the U.S. and abroad. He is the most-nominated Grammy artist of all time with a total of 79 nominations and produced the best-selling album of all time Thriller and the best-selling single of all time We Are the World. He has scored 34 major motion pictures, and his own timeless music has been rediscovered in such films as the Austin Powers trilogy and Kill Bill. He's also produced the Oscar-winning film The Color Purple and the musical adaptation now on Broadway and touring. Together with his close friends Chris Stamps and Jennifer McCrae, Quincy is committed to helping at-risk youth around the world and alongside Harvard University, UNICEF and Inter-American Development Bank, he has worked with similarly committed celebrities, including Bob Geldof and Bono, to help children in the poorest regions of the world.