Impresario and multi-Grammy winning producer, composer and arranger Quincy Jones will deliver the keynote address at the 2009 South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference in Austin, TX on March 19th, 2009 it was announced today. A longtime humanitarian who produced and conducted the historic "We Are The World" recording benefitting Ethiopian famine relief, Jones is expected to discuss the power of music to influence and create positive change in the world and the responsibility of the artist to use their craft to bring people together for the betterment of mankind.
Among Quincy Jones' countless awards and accolades he is a 27 time Grammy Award winner (the most of any living musician) and is the all-time most nominated Grammy artist with a total of 79 nominations. He is the recipient of an Emmy Award; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award; 7 Academy Award nominations including one for Best Picture -- only African-American producer to do so; France's highest civilian honor the Commandeur de la Legion d'Honneur; and was recognized as a Kennedy Center Honoree for his contributions to the cultural fabric of the United States. Most recently, Jones' vast contributions to music were recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts when he was named a Jazz Master, the nation's highest jazz honor.
Among Jones' current and upcoming projects include the recently released book "The Complete Quincy Jones: My Journey and Passions," a feature film documentary on Brazil's annual Carnival Festival which will benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina and Brazil's impoverished Favelas, a bio-pic mini-series on jazz great Louis Armstrong, a duets album with Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder, and a tribute album of his recordings featuring artists such as Usher, John Legend and Amy Winehouse, among others. He is also planning a chain of nightclub-restaurants based on his album Q's Jook Joint, with the first slated to open in Las Vegas in 2009.
Named by Time Magazine as one of the six most influential Jazz artists of the 20th Century, Quincy Jones' career has spanned six decades and encompassed the roles of composer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, record producer, record executive, film and television producer, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, Quincy Jones has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live performances, movies, television and magazine publishing.
Quincy Jones began his career at the age of 13 under the tutelage of legendary Jazz artists such as lifelong friend and collaborator Ray Charles, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Billy Holliday, Billy Eckstine, Bumps Blackwell, Clark Terry, and Bobby Tucker. After receiving scholarships to Seattle University and the Schillinger House, now known as the Berklee College of Music, Jones would move to New York where he officially began his career touring as a trumpeter and arranger for Lionel Hampton. It would be during this period of his life that Jones would make his first trip abroad to Europe where he would witness firsthand the power of music to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries and lead him to a lifelong pursuit of international collaborations and goodwill. In 1953, Jones would depart Hampton's band and begin a busy career as a composer/arranger working with diverse artists such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown and Cannonball Adderly, as well as Basie, Hampton and Charles.
Jones would again experience music's power to build bridges in 1956 when he was tapped by Dizzy Gillespie to serve as musical director, arranger and trumpeter for the Gillespie Orchestra's U.S. State Department sponsored tour tasked with bringing goodwill to troubled areas in Europe, the Middle East and South America. Following the tour, Jones would re-locate to Paris where he would study with Nadia Boulanger, the legendary Parisian tutor to American expatriate composers such as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copeland.
Jones won the first of his many Grammy Awards in 1963 for his Count Basie arrangement of "I Can't Stop Loving You." His three-year musical association as conductor and arranger with Frank Sinatra in the mid-60's also teamed him with Basie for the classic Sinatra At The Sands, containing the famous arrangement of "Fly Me To The Moon," the first recording played by astronaut Buzz Aldrin when he landed upon the moon's surface in 1969.
As producer and conductor of the historic "We Are The World" recording (the best-selling single of all time), Michael Jackson's multi-platinum solo albums, Off The Wall, Bad and Thriller (the best-selling album of all time), and the multi-Grammy winning "Album of the Year" Back On The Block, Quincy Jones stands as one of the most successful and admired creative artist/executives in the entertainment world.
The South By Southwest Music & Media Conference takes place March 18 - 22, 2009 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Quincy Jones' keynote anchors four days of panels, interviews, workshops, peer meetings and the trade show exhibition covering a wide variety of topics, addressing the concerns and interests of musicians, executives and music lovers. Daytime events flow into the world-renowned music festival, which showcases over 1700 acts on stages throughout downtown Austin.