November 28, 2012

COME HOME; An Evening with Carmen Lundy

“In a world of pretenders, Carmen Lundy is a genuine Jazz Singer”
- The Evening Standard

Born November 1, 1954 in Miami, Florida, Carmen Lundy's path to being one of today's most talented, respected and sophisticated jazz singers began at age six, with her first piano lessons. Deeply inspired by her mother, Oveida, who was then lead singer in the gospel group The Apostolic Singers, Carmen joined her church's junior choir. A passion for music was instilled for life, and it was with total determination that young Carmen began her professional career performing at local high schools as part of the vocal duo “Steph and Tret.” It was soon after that she made her first recording, The Price Of Silence, while still in her teens.

Ms. Lundy attended The University Of Miami as an Opera major, but soon discovered that jazz was where her talent really shined. She later graduated with a degree in Studio Music and Jazz - one of the first singers to do so. After working steadily at jazz clubs in Miami and traveling to Europe and North Africa with the University of Miami Big Band in 1977, Lundy moved to New York City in the spring of '78. She immediately began working in jazz circles throughout the Tri-State area, and from Harlem to Greenwich Village, and quickly impressed the notoriously critical jazz cognoscenti and audiences alike. Esteemed critic Gary Giddins stated (in 1983), “Jazz singing stopped regenerating itself about 20 years ago, and it's not hard to see why, so it's with some trepidation that I call your attention to an authentic young jazz singer named Carmen Lundy - she's got it all.” Armed with a devoted following and critical kudos, the uncompromising Ms. Lundy continued to make waves, not just in North America, but in Asia and throughout the UK and Europe.
While Carmen Lundy has managed the near impossible by maintaining a three decade career with mostly self penned material, her 11th CD release, “Solamente” is a unique departure from her previous work. Everything about the new CD from Carmen Lundy comes directly from the heart. Renowned for her extraordinary vocal prowess and songwriting skill, Lundy moves far beyond our expectations, arranging, producing, recording, mixing and playing every instrument on Solamente.

Originally recorded to serve as reference demos of new compositions, the recordings so moved listeners that Lundy was persuaded to release them as they were, with every second, every note, a reflection of an artist at her creative peak.

With her previous release “Come Home”, Lundy confirmed once again that she is a true original in the world of Jazz singing and composition. “Come Home” is indeed a homecoming of sorts - infusing the blues and gospel roots of her childhood with those in the jazz genre in a stunning new set of original compositions.

Carmen Lundy began her professional career as a jazz vocalist and composer when there were very few young, gifted and aspiring jazz vocalists on the horizon. Three decades later, Ms. Lundy is celebrated throughout the world for her vocal artistry and is highly regarded for her jazz innovation. Her contribution of over 40 self-penned compositions now comprises the New Jazz Songbook.

Having recorded ten albums as a leader, Carmen has also performed and recorded with such musicians as brother and bassist Curtis Lundy, Ray Barretto, Kenny Barron, Bruce Hornsby, Mulgrew Miller, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kip Hanrahan, Courtney Pine, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Cobb, Ron Carter, Marian McPartland, Regina Carter, Steve Turre, Geri Allen, Robert Glasper and the late Kenny Kirkland. Ms. Lundy’s previous release, the critically acclaimed “Jazz and The New Songbook-Live at The Madrid”, features some of the jazz world’s best known musicians paying tribute to Ms. Lundy. Her first live recording, it finally and definitively captures her unique and electrifying on-stage performance, further expanding her recognition at home and abroad. Fortunately, the concert is documented on both DVD and 2-disc set, produced by Afrasia Productions, a label started by Carmen Lundy and well-known producer Elisabeth Oei.

Carmen Lundy’s work as a vocalist and composer has been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, as well as numerous foreign publications. As a composer, Ms. Lundy’s catalogue numbers over sixty published songs, one of the few jazz vocalists in history to accomplish such a distinction, and has led to the first publication of the Carmen Lundy Songbook (2007). Her songs have been recorded by such artists as Kenny Barron ("Quiet Times"), Ernie Watts ("At The End Of My Rope"), and Straight Ahead ("Never Gonna Let You Go").

Of course, they can also be found on her own recordings “Something To Believe In” and “This Is Carmen Lundy” (both for Justin Time), “Old Devil Moon” (JVC), “Self Portrait” (JVC), “Moment To Moment” (Arabesque/Afrasia Productions), “Night And Day” (CBS/SONY), “Good Morning Kiss” (CLR/Afrasia Productions), “Jazz and The New Songbook – Live at The Madrid” (2-disc set and DVD, Afrasia Productions), and her latest releases “Come Home” and “Solamente” (Afrasia Productions).

A native of Miami, Florida, Carmen Lundy's path to being one of today's most talented, respected and sophisticated jazz singers began at age six, with her first piano lessons. Deeply inspired by her mother, Oveida, who was then lead singer in the gospel group The Apostolic Singers, Carmen joined her church's junior choir. A passion for music was instilled for life, and it was with total determination that young Carmen began her professional career performing at local high schools as part of the vocal duo "Steph and Tret." It was soon after that she made her first recording, The Price Of Silence, while still in her teens.

Ms. Lundy attended The University Of Miami as an Opera major, but soon discovered that jazz was where her talent really shined. She later graduated with a degree in Studio Music and Jazz - one of the first singers to do so. After working steadily at jazz clubs in Miami and traveling to Europe and North Africa with the University of Miami Big Band in 1977, Lundy moved to New York City in the spring of '78. She immediately began working in jazz circles throughout the Tri-State area, and from Harlem to Greenwich Village, and quickly impressed the notoriously critical jazz cognoscenti and audiences alike. Esteemed critic Gary Giddins stated (in 1983), "Jazz singing stopped regenerating itself about 20 years ago, and it's not hard to see why, so it's with some trepidation that I call your attention to an authentic young jazz singer named Carmen Lundy - she's got it all." Armed with a devoted following and critical kudos, the uncompromising Ms. Lundy continued to make waves, not just in North America, but in Asia and throughout the UK and Europe.
Teaching, too, is an important activity for Ms Lundy; she's given Master Classes in Australia, Denmark, Russia, Japan, Switzerland, New York, Washington, D.C., Northern California, and Los Angeles. Since its inception in 1998, Lundy has and continues to participate in Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead Program at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as Resident Clinician and guest artist. She has also worked with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz as guest artist and clinician.

Ms. Lundy is also a gifted actress active in theatre. "Acting," as she recently told Dr. Billy Taylor, "helps me to get more comfortable and acquainted with the art of performance." She performed the lead role as Billie Holiday in the Off-Off Broadway play "They Were All Gardenias" by Lawrence Holder, as well as the lead role in the Broadway show, Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Ladies," and she made her television debut as the star of the CBS Pilot-Special "Shangri-La Plaza" in the role of Geneva, after which she relocated to Los Angeles, where she currently resides.

After signing to Justin Time in 2001, Ms. Lundy began work immediately on her label debut This Is Carmen Lundy, recorded in May of that same year and released in September. Entirely self-composed, the recording promptly garnered rave reviews from throughout the world, notably from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Far East.

In October 2002, Justin Time re-issued Lundy's much-sought-after 1985 debut album, Good Morning Kiss, with three previously unreleased alternate takes, and remixed and re-mastered using state-of-the-art technology.

The year 2003 began with a bang, when Miami-Dade's County Office Of The Mayor and Board of County Commissioners proclaimed January 25th "Carmen Lundy Day." Other notable events throughout 2003 included performances at Ronnie Scott's, London, for a two-week engagement; The Jazz Standard in New York City; The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles; and at Oakland's famed nightspot Yoshi's. Her triumph at Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, at Club Soda, was followed by a riveting performance (with Buster Williams, Geri Allen and Billy Hart) of Mary Lou's Mass at North Carolina's Duke University in Raleigh/Durham.

Something To Believe In, released in 2003, brought Carmen to her largest audience yet, while maintaining an integrity and dedication to excellence that has been uncompromising from the beginning. It's a record with a universal theme. From the self-penned opener, "In Love Again," to the last strains of the classic "Moody's Mood For Love," the record is a passionate paean to love - and to life's search for it. It features Carmen's core band of pianist Anthony Wonsey, bassist Curtis Lundy, and drummer Victor Lewis, with special guests, percussionist Mayra Casales, saxophonist Mark Shim and violin phenomenon Regina Carter.

Carmen Lundy is also a painter in oils on canvas, and her works have been exhibited in New York at The Jazz Gallery in Soho, at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, and at a month-long exhibition at the Madrid Theatre, also in Los Angeles, where she currently resides.

To Visit Carmen Lundy's website CLICK HERE

SOJP's Celestial Dancer has written a review of a Carmen Lundy performance that she witnessed at Yoshi's in Oakland, California on June 17, 2011. Celestial also had a chance to speak with Carmen after her thrilling performance. To read the review and to listen to a Conversation with Carmen Lundy CLICK HERE

November 04, 2012


Eric Allan Dolphy was a jazz musician who played alto saxophone, flute and bass clarinet.

Born: July 20, 1928 | Died: July 29, 1964    
Dolphy was one of several groundbreaking jazz alto players to rise to prominence in the 1960s. He was also the first important bass clarinet soloist in jazz, and among the earliest significant flute soloists; he is arguably the greatest jazz improviser on either instrument. On early recordings, he occasionally played traditional B-flat soprano clarinet. His improvisational style was characterized by a near volcanic flow of ideas, utilizing wide intervals based largely on the 12-tone scale,
in addition to using an array of animal- like effects which almost made his instruments speak. Although Dolphy's work is sometimes classified as free jazz, his compositions and solos had a logic uncharacteristic of many other free jazz musicians of the day; even as such, he was definitively avant-garde. In the years after his death his music was more aptly described as being “too out to be in and too in to be out.”
Dolphy was born in Los Angeles and was educated at Los Angeles City College. He performed locally for several years, most notably as a member of the big band led by Roy Porter. Dolphy finally had his big break as a member of Chico Hamilton's quintet, with Hamilton he became known to a wider audience and was able to tour extensively through 1958, when he parted ways with Hamilton and moved to New York City.
Dolphy wasted little time upon settling in New York City, quickly forming several fruitful musical partnerships, the two most important ones being with jazz legends Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, musicians he'd known for several years. While his formal musical collaboration with Coltrane was short (less than a year between 1961-62), his association with Mingus continued intermittently from 1959 until Dolphy's death in 1964. Dolphy was held in the highest regard by both musicians - Mingus considered Dolphy to be his most talented interpreter and Coltrane thought him his only musical equal.
Coltrane had gained an audience and critical notice with Miles Davis's quintet. Although Coltrane's quintets with Dolphy (including the Village Vanguard and Africa/Brass sessions) are now legendary, they provoked Down Beat magazine to brand Coltrane and Dolphy's music as 'anti- jazz.' Coltrane later said of this criticism “they made it appear that we didn't even know the first thing about music (...) it hurt me to see (Dolphy) get hurt in this thing.”
The initial release of Coltrane's stay at the Vanguard selected three tracks, only one of which featured Dolphy. After being issued haphazardly over the next 30 years, a comprehensive box set featuring all of the recorded music from the Vanguard was released by Impulse! in 1997. The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings carried over 15 tracks featuring Dolphy on alto saxophone and bass clarinet, adding a new dimension to these already classic recordings. A later Pablo box set from Coltrane's European tours of the early 1960s collected more recordings with Dolphy for the buying public. During this period, Dolphy also played in a number of challenging settings, notably in key recordings by Ornette Coleman (Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation), Oliver Nelson (The Blues and the Abstract Truth) and George Russell (Ezz- thetic), but also with Gunther Schuller and Max Roach among others.

Dolphy's recording career as a leader began with the Prestige label. His association with the label spanned across 13 albums recorded from April 1960 to September 1961, though he was not the leader for all of the sessions. Prestige eventually released a nine-CD box set containing all of Dolphy's recorded output for the label.
Dolphy's first two albums as leader were Outward Bound and Out There. The first is more accessible and rooted in the style of bop than some later releases, but it still offered up challenging performances, which at least partly accounts for the record label's choice to include “out” in the title. Out There is closer to the third stream music which would also form part of Dolphy's legacy, and reminiscent also of the instrumentation of the Hamilton group with Ron Carter on cello. Far Cry was also recorded for Prestige in 1960 and represented his first pairing with trumpeter Booker Little, a like-minded spirit with whom he would go on to make a set of legendary live recordings (At the Five Spot) before Little's tragic death at the age of 23.

Dolphy would record several unaccompanied cuts on saxophone, which at the time had been done only by Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins before him. The album Far Crycontains one of his more memorable performances on the Gross-Lawrence standardTenderly on alto saxophone, but it was his subsequent tour of Europe that quickly set high standards for solo performance with his exhilarating bass clarinet renditions of Billie Holiday's God Bless The Child. Numerous recordings were made of live performances by Dolphy, and these have been issued by many sometimes dubious record labels, drifting in and out of print ever since. 20th century classical music also played a significant role in Dolphy's musical career, having performed and recorded Edgard Varèse's Density 21.5 for solo flute as well as other classical works, and participated heavily in the Third Stream efforts of the 1960s.
In July 1963, Dolphy and producer Alan Douglas arranged recording sessions for which his sidemen were among the leading emerging musicians of the day. The results were his Iron Man and Conversations LPs.

In 1964, Dolphy signed with the legendary Blue Note label and recorded Out to Lunch(once again, the label insisted on using “out” in the title). This album was deeply rooted in the avant garde, and Dolphy's solos are as dissonant and unpredictable as anything he ever recorded. Out to Lunch is often regarded not only as Dolphy's finest album, but also as one of the greatest jazz recordings ever made.
After Out to Lunch and an appearance as a sideman on Andrew Hill's Point of Departure, Dolphy left to tour Europe with Charles Mingus' sextet (one of Mingus' most underrated bands and without a doubt one of the most exciting) in early 1964. From there he intended to settle in Europe with his fiancée, who was working on the ballet scene in Paris. After leaving Mingus, he performed with and recorded a few sides with various European bands and was preparing to join Albert Ayler for a recording.
On the evening of June 28, 1964, Dolphy collapsed on the streets of Berlin and was brought to a hospital. The attending hospital physicians, who had no idea that Dolphy was a diabetic, thought that he (like so many other jazz musicians) had overdosed on drugs, so they left him to lie in a hospital bed until the “drugs” had run their course.
The notes to the Prestige nine-disc set say he “collapsed in his hotel room and when brought to the hospital he was diagnosed as being in a diabetic coma. After being administered a shot of insulin (apparently a type stronger than what was then available in the US) he lapsed into insulin shock and died.”
Dolphy would die the next day in a diabetic coma, leaving a short but tremendous legacy in the jazz world, which was immediately honored with his induction into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame that same year. Coltrane paid tribute to Dolphy in an interview: “Whatever I'd say would be an understatement. I can only say my life was made much better by knowing him. He was one of the greatest people I've ever known, as a man, a friend, and a musician.”
Dolphy's musical presence was deeply influential to a who's who of young jazz musicians who would become legends in their own right. Dolphy worked intermittently with Ron Carter and Freddie Hubbard throughout his career, and in later years he hired Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson and Woody Shaw at various times to work in his live and studio bands.Out to Lunch featured yet another young lion who had just begun working with Dolphy in drummer Tony Williams, just as his participation on the Point of Departure session brought his influence into contact with up and coming tenor man Joe Henderson. Carter, Hancock and Williams would go on to become one of the quintessential avant-garde rhythm sections of the decade, both together on their own albums and as the backbone of the second great quintet of Miles Davis. This part of the second great quintet is an ironic footnote for Davis, who was not fond of Dolphy's music yet absorbed a rhythm section who had all worked under Dolphy and created a band whose brand of “out” was unsurprisingly very similar to Dolphy's.
In addition, his work with jazz and rock producer Alan Douglas allowed Dolphy's unique brand of musical expression to posthumously spread to musicians in the jazz fusion and rock environments, most notably with artists John McLaughlin and Jimi Hendrix. Frank Zappa, an eclectic performer who drew some of his inspiration from jazz music, paid tribute to Dolphy's style in the instrumental The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue.

October 20, 2012


Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and  influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,000 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of music's greats: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, and Bobby Timmons. In the early 1960s he performed throughout the United States in concert halls and nightclubs with Jaki Byard and Eric Dolphy. He later toured Europe with Cannonball Adderley. From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the classic and acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. He was named Outstanding Bassist of the Decade by the Detroit News, Jazz Bassist of the Year by Downbeat magazine, and Most Valuable Player by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. 

In 1993 Ron Carter earned a Grammy award for Best Jazz Instrumental Group, the Miles Davis Tribute Band and another Grammy in 1998 for Call 'Sheet Blues', an instrumental composition from the film 'Round Midnight. In addition to scoring and arranging music for many films, including some projects for Public Broadcasting System, Carter has composed music for A Gathering of Old Men, starring Lou Gosset Jr., The Passion of Beatrice directed by Bertrand Tavernier, and Blind Faith starring Courtney B. Vance. Carter shares his expertise in the series of books he authored, among which are Building Jazz Bass Lines and The Music of Ron Carter; the latter contains 130 of his published and recorded compositions.

Carter earned a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School in Rochester and a master's degree in double bass from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He has also received two honorary doctorates, from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, and was the 2002 recipient of the prestigious Hutchinson Award from the Eastman School at the University of Rochester. Most recently he was honored by the French Minister of Culture with France's premier cultural award--the medallion and title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, given to those who have distinguished themselves in the domain of artistic or literary creation and for their contribution to the spread of arts and letters in France and the world.

Carter has lectured, conducted, and performed at clinics and master classes, instructing jazz ensembles and teaching the business of music at numerous universities. He was Artistic Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies while it was located in Boston and, after 18 years on the faculty of the Music Department of The City College of New York, he is now Distinguished Professor Emeritus although, as a performer, he remains as active as ever.

September 02, 2012

Naturally Nancy

This week’s featured artist has been a world-renowned jazz, rhythm and blues, and pop singer for more than 50 years. Fashionable and poised, with a voice that both soothes and seduces an audience, Wilson prefers to call herself a "song stylist" who ranges freely through several musical idioms.

 Nancy Wilson first found her voice singing in church choirs, but found her love of jazz in her father's record collection. It included albums by Jimmy Scott, Nat "King" Cole, Billy Eckstine, Dinah Washington, and Ruth Brown; this generation of vocalists had a profound influence on Wilson's singing style. She began performing on the Columbus, Ohio, club circuit while still in high school, and in 1956 she became a member of Rusty Bryant's Carolyn Club Band.
She also sat in with various performers, such as Cannonball Adderley, who suggested that she come to New York. When Wilson took his advice, her distinctive voice enchanted a representative from Capitol Records and she was signed in 1959. In the years that followed, Wilson recorded 37 original albums for the label. Her first hit, "Guess Who I Saw Today," came in 1961. One year later, a collaborative album with Adderley solidified her standing in the jazz community and provided the foundation for her growing fame and career. During her years with Capitol, she was second in sales only to the Beatles, surpassing Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, and even Nat "King" Cole.
Wilson also has worked in television, where in 1968 she won an Emmy Award for her NBC series, The Nancy Wilson Show. She has performed on The Andy Williams Show and The Carol Burnett Showand has appeared in series such as Hawaii Five-O, The Cosby Show, Moesha, and The Parkers.
Although she often has crossed over to pop and rhythmand- blues recordings, she still is best known for her jazz performances. In the 1980s, she returned to jazz with a series of performances with such jazz greats as Art Farmer, Benny Golson, and Hank Jones. And to start the new century, Wilson teamed with pianist Ramsey Lewis for a pair of highly regarded recordings.
She has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including two Grammy Awards and honorary degrees from Berklee School of Music and Central State University in Ohio. Wilson also hosted NPR's Jazz Profiles, a weekly documentary series, from 1986 to 2005.
Selected Discography
Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley, Capitol, 1962
Yesterday's Love Songs -- Today's Blues, Capitol, 1963
But Beautiful, Blue Note, 1969
Ramsey Lew is & Nancy Wilson, Meant To Be, Narada, 2002
R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal), MCG Jazz, 2004

August 17, 2012

Stephen Jerome Ferguson was born in Washington D.C. on May 23rd and has been involved with music since the age of 12. His interest started when he sat down at an old Fender Rhodes Electric piano. He taught himself music scales and basic chords. He began to learn to play along with music that was being played in his home. Gospel music, Soul and Jazz were his first loves. He worked part time after school to save money to purchase his first electric guitar. He applied the lessons he learned on the keyboard and soon was able to play the guitar portions of the same songs he learned on the keyboard. Later, he picked up what was to become his favorite instrument, the bass guitar.

His first experience playing live music came as the bass guitar player for the Gospel group The True Voices of Christ, a group that he cofounded. The group played for 3 years, playing all along the east coast.
Stephen then enlisted in the US Army and was assigned to Europe for his first tour. In Europe, he met fellow soldier/musicians Paul Ferguson and Mike Burrell. Together, they founded the R&B/Jazz group FFB (Ferguson, Ferguson and Burrell). The group played all over Europe for 3 years. They played cover songs as well as their own original compositions. One of these original songs titled “I Miss You” was featured on the Armed Forces Radio Network.

After leaving FFB, Stephen studied music. He studied the administrative side and stayed abreast of the new technologies that began to develop. Using these new technologies, he released his first solo CD, “Peace of the Heart”. Stephen dedicated this project to his mother that was taken by cancer in 1996 and he donated the sales of this CD to cancer research. His next releases were “Its Just Me”, “Afterglow”, “We Are One” and “Windows to the Soul”. His 5th project titled “Between Dusk and Dawn” is his first CD under his new production company, SJF Music. “Between Dusk and Dawn” was also the first project in which Stephen wrote and produced music to accompany the works of featured poets and spoken word artists. Stephen’s 6th project, “Player’s Ball” was released in July 2012.

Stephen founded SJF Music in July of 2011 and is dedicated to producing music for independent artists. SJF Music has a very simple goal: producing music that listeners will be proud to own and to share.

To visit Stephen Jerome Ferguson's SJF Music website CLICK HERE

July 22, 2012

Denise King & Olivier Hutman

Denise King was born and raised in West Philadelphia and is the third of five children. She was always an artistic person, focusing at a very young age on the visual arts, fashion design and dance. Born with a passion for anything artistic, she danced and sang in high school. After a few performances under the direction of Faye Snow at West Philadelphia High School, she was asked to audition to dance with Philadanco when the dance company was initially formed. After graduating from West and Delaware County Community College Denise went on to pursue a career in healthcare. She worked in OB-GYN at a major teaching hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. For thirteen years she worked in Oncology, In-vitro Fertilization and High Risk OB as a Medical Assistant and as the department floater.

Nineteen eighty-three was a pivotal point in her life. Her popularity as a singer was growing as was her career at the hospital. It was evident that she was on a collision course. One day after a long day at the hospital and an even longer night performing in Atlantic City, she arrived at the hospital completely exhausted. It was then that she knew she had to make a decision. Did she want to give up music which had now become her passion or continue with her job in health care. Music won out and a a career that has spanned two plus decades was born.

With no formal vocal instruction, it’s apparent that Denise was born to sing. Unlike her brothers who were drummers in R&B bands, she had no true interest in becoming a performer. At thirteen she was introduced to Jazz by an uncle, Herbert Tatum, who had an extensive collection of Jazz LP's and a cousin Cynthia who had a love of Nina Simone. Her "studies" involved hours of listening to the Jazz greats, both vocalists and instrumentalists. Denise borrowed phrasing styles from Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat "King" Cole and Frank Sinatra. She gained an appreciation for lyrics from Lil Jimmy Scott, Nancy Wilson, Carmen McCrae and Nina Simone. Listening as intensely to Jazz as she did R&B or music of her era, she had no idea that her listening sessions were preparing her for a career in music.

She was "discovered" by a friend who heard her singing outside of her home and introduced her to the world of Jazz performance. The early gigs were difficult in that she was painfully stage shy. But with the help of Sam Reed, sax man and leader of the legendary Uptown Theater Orchestra she overcame her stage fright. Her early performance experiences involved sharing the stage with many legends, Butch Ballard, Arthur Harper, Sam Dougherty, Cecil Payne, Jymie Merritt, Bootsie Barnes, Lex Humphries, Phil Wright, Cecil McBee, Christian McBride, Dexter Wansel, Orrin Evans, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Watson, Lonnie Plaxico, Uri Caine, Sid Simmons, Dr. Guy Ramsey, J.D. Walter, Derrick Hodge, Chris Beck, Billy Paul, Jean Carne, Celine Dion, Bunny Sigler and many, many more. They taught her the importance of having something to say every time she stepped up to the microphone. They stressed the importance of telling a story through the words and music and not just singing the song. Their instruction paid off. One night while performing at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia, Denise met Dexter Wansel, writer, arranger, producer, and A&R director at Philadelphia International Records. That meeting would forge a work relationship that has spanned twenty years.

Listening to her warm tone, impeccable phrasing, and the absolute control she has of her voice is mesmerizing. Whether she's singing a Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan standard, or a Gladys Knight or Aretha Franklin cover, she puts her heart and soul into every note. Denise has mastered the art of making a song her own no matter what the genre. When performing with her band whether trio, quartet or quintet they are the driving force behind her and support her every note. They instinctively know what she's going to do next and meet her there with perfect timing.

Ms King has sung at almost all of the top venues in Philadelphia, several in New York, Paris, Turkey, Brazil, Africa, Germany and Japan during the past 25 years. She started her musical career in her thirties and has proclaimed herself a torch bearer. A keeper of the flame. She holds the preservation and presentation of the traditional style of Jazz singing close to her heart. No gimmicks, no pyrotechnics, just a intense focus on the melody and the lyrical content.

In 1999 due to many cuts in funding for the arts in schools, dwindling numbers at Jazz concerts and a need for musicians to have a supportive venue in which to play, she expanded beyond singing and founded Denise King Entertainment. She strongly believes in giving back to the community and through programs such as Be-Bop and Books (a literacy program for children) and Friday Night Jazz at Cedar Park, which takes place on Friday evenings through the summer at Cedar Park 50th & Baltimore Aves in West Philly, she has been able to present free concerts for the past nine years. The grand aim of all of these programs is to bridge the gap between our younger generation, our more established citizens and the variety of cultures which make up our neighborhood. Denise says "West Philly is rich in history and culture and is brimming with artist in many different genres and disciplines. West Philly is lucky enough to have a wide variety of people and cultures that make up this wonderful community. In 2005 The Mellon Corporation awarded her, the first female recipient, The Community Award for her Friday Night Jazz Series. Denise states with much enthusiasm, "We're all people and we all pretty much want the same things, safe streets, safe schools, decent jobs, equal rights and opportunities. When we talk more, we learn who we are. Talking eliminates the guess work. Jazz is a great icebreaker and a great way to get the conversation started!"

July 2009, through the internet and social media, her career would take another unexpected turn. Olivier Hutman, a musician whom she had worked with 12 years prior found her on Facebook. He told her if she would come to Paris he would find her work. True to his promise he organized performances at clubs, festivals and concert halls across France, Belgium and Italy. After contacting Fred Midgeon producer, together they recorded a new CD, "No Tricks" on Cristal Records. It has garnered and continues to receive great reviews. Together with DKOH Trio they have toured extensively in France, Belgium and Italy. She is currently writing lyrics for an upcoming project for Summer 2012.

With a voice described as velvet smooth, warm and steeped in sophistication, she captivates you and holds you with every note. In this age of auto-tune, quick fixes and artistic gimmickry, her love of people, performance style, and energy have ensured her a spot in the Jazz community for a long time.

To visit Denise King's website CLICK HERE 

Olivier Hutman was born  November 12th, 1954 in Boulogne, France. He is a pianist, arranger & composer.
Education: PHD, ethnology on Urban Music in Ghana, under the supervision of Jean Rouch.
Musical education: 10 years study, piano, National Conservatory of Music, St Maur
Compositions: Composer, arranger in jazz, theatre, films : jingles, music for industrial films & documentaries (more than 200 scores ; Lancôme, Sanofi ; Rhône Poulenc, Chanel, Nestle, etc…), TV documentaries, pianist or/and arranger for : Michel LEGRAND, Philippe SARDE/Hubert ROSTAING, David GILMORE.
Olivier Hutman has worked with Bertrand Tavernier, Serge Moati, Jean Paul Goude.

Feature Films include: Maigret, Mille désirs 1997, Mon Oncle, 1985 : High Speed, 1987,  Printemps perdu, 1990,  Ma Sœur Chinoise, 1994,  Die Schaukel, 2004, Le Miroir aux alouettes, 2000 , La Moitié du ciel, 2001.
Olivier Hutman was commissioned to write original a ballet for Ballet Maurice BEJART, 1990 ; Commissionned by International Musik Festival, Davos, to write suite performed by members of the New York Philharmonic, 1993 .
Career as a pianist: Accompagnist for pop singers, amongst which : Henri SALVADOR , Yves MONTAND, Charles AZNAVOUR.

As a Jazz Performer:  founder of MORAVAGINE 1975 ; member of CHUTE LIBRE 1975-1977 ; Christian ESCOUDE Quartet 1981-1983; Founds own trio (Marc BERTAUX/Tony RABESON) 1983-1989 ; Eric LELANN Quartet ,1984-1988, Barney WILEN Quartet 1991-1992.
As a sideman, has worked and recorded with many artists amongst which : Pepper ADAMS, Art FARMER, Clark TERRY, Harry ‘ Sweets’ EDISON, James MOODY, Michel LEGRAND, Dee Dee BRIDGEWATER, Mark MURPHY,Stephane GRAPELLI, Toots THIELEMANS, Gary BARTZ, Junior COOK, Frank WESS, Clifford JORDAN, Mundell LOWE, Teddy EDWARDS, David ‘Fathead’ NEWMAN, Von FREEMAN, Steve GROSSMAN, Tom HARRELL, George GARZONE, Rich PERRY, Steve WILLIAMS, ROY HARGROVE
Tours and festivals: Antibes ; MIDEM-Cannes 1987/93/98 ; Singapore, Bombay, Montreal 1987/93 ; Prague, Middleheim (Antwerpen) ; Angoulême ; Nîmes ; Nancy ; festival de paris ; La Réunion ; Tokyo 1991/93 ; Leverkusen ; Berlin ; Warsaw ; Montreux ; Brussels ; Amsterdam ; Calvi ; Davos ( Switzerland) 91/92/93/94 ; Newport Jazz festival, Saratoga (USA), 1993 ; La Villette (Paris) 1993 ; Tahiti, 1995 ; Martinique, 1994 ; USA (Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles), 1995 ; Edinburgh, 1999, 2004 Singapore/Malaysia, 2003; Hungaria 2004 ;Iceland, 2004 ; Madagascar, 2005 ; Washington, New York, 2005, Malaysia, Singapore, Djakarta, 2005, New York 2006/2007 (Blue Note, Lincoln Center, IAJE).

European tour with singer Denise King 2010, European Tour with Denise King & Olivier Hutman Trio (France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland) 2011.

Recordings: Over two hundred LP’s and CD’s with numerous pop and jazz artists and as a leader, in Paris, Zurich, Rome, New York (Skyline Studios New York, Acoustic Recordings Brooklyn New York), Los Angeles ( Castle Oak Studios), Tokyo.

Honours : prix Boris VIAN, French Academy of Jazz , for best Record of the year, 1984 ; 2nd European keyboardist in Jazz Hot magazine readers poll, 1987. Nomination for best record of 1997 French jazz Academy. Awards for recordings in 2002, 2003, 2008 (Le Monde, TSF, FIP, France-Infos, Jazzman)
Awards for films: Mon Oncle, best score, Biarritz, 1986 ; Printemps Perdu, Best Score Montreal 1995. Virtual Allergy, Best Score, Biarritz, 1999. D&O Biarritz 2010.
Featured Artist: Dictionnaire du Jazz (Robert Laffont) Cambridge University Dictionnary of Music. Grove Dictionary of Music (Ed. 2000)

To visit Olivier Hutman's website CLICK HERE

June 24, 2012

Citizen of both worlds but a stranger in both _ poet and writer Yuri Kageyama, who grew up in the U.S. and Japan, has always felt that way about those two cultures shaping her identity.
That is why the pain of marginality and the outrage against discrimination have been central themes in her writing, which spans more than three decades.
The experience of being called “Jap” in America and the experience of being told to serve tea in Japan tap into the same important source of creative power for her works.
Kageyama was born in Japan, but was 6 when she moved with her family for the first time to the U.S.
Her father was a rocket engineer and did research at the University of Maryland and later at NASA in Alabama.
And so it was natural she would choose the English language to express herself.
She loves ukiyoe as much as Andy Warhol, and pecan pie as much as sushi.
Kenji Miyazawa is as much her literary influence as is T.S. Eliot.
Another distinguishing aspect about Kageyama’s approach is her collaborations with artists in other genres, such as dance and music.
She has worked with a variety of jazz musicians, including Eric Kamau Gravatt and Russel Baba, and feels that crossing genres is as part of her vision as is crossing discriminatory cultural boundaries.
The legacy of exploring the art of “Asian America” is being passed down to a new generation in Kageyama’s son Isaku, a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Isaku, born in San Francisco and bilingual and bicultural like his mother, has studied “taiko,” or Japanese drumming, since he was 6 years old with Amanojaku, a professional taiko group led by Yoichi Watanabe, which specializes in the Tokyo-style of “kumi” or ensemble taiko.
Isaku is now trying to forge a new kind of “world music” through his studies at Berklee.
He is eager to win global audiences for taiko _ to gain what he thinks is the form’s rightful and respected position in the world of music _ and perhaps cross musical boundaries of his own into jazz, pop and world categories with not only taiko but other forms of ethnic percussion.
Isaku performed in a musical and poetry collaboration for a book party in San Francisco for Kageyama’s latest book, “The New and Selected Yuri: Writing From Peeling Till Now” (2011: Ishmael Reed Publishing Co.).
All the musicians who performed added to Kageyama’s multicultural vision, sound and poetics _ Gravatt, Makoto Horiuchi, Ashwut Rodriguez, Hiroyuki Shido and Glen Pearson, not just Isaku.    
She is now working on “Story of Miu,” a theater piece about the plight of Asian women, abortion and the relationship between generations of women.
The work-in-progress is being directed by Carla Blank, who has worked with Robert Wilson and also played violin at the book party.
“Story of Miu” also features dancer Yuki Kawahisa and drummer Pheeroan akLaff.
Tecla Esposito played keyboards in the reading debut of the work at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York in April 2012.
Kageyama often collaborates with visual artists.
Japanese filmmaker Yoshiaki Tago has been documenting her pan-Pacific readings since 2008, including those in the Tokyo area with master percussionist Winchester Nii Tete from Ghana.    
By collaborating with people of different genres and cultures, Kageyama hopes to achieve that perfect moment, when through poetics and music, people can come together.
This is what the great poet, novelist and playwright Reed wrote in the “Introduction” to “The New and Selected Yuri: Writing From Peeling Till Now:”
“They’ve called Yuri “cute” often during her life. She’s cute all right. Like a tornado is cute. Like a hurricane is cute. This Yuricane.
I found that out when she was a student at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1970s. One of her poems about iconic white women became an underground hit on campus.
In 2009 the audience at New York City’s Bowery Poetry Club was also blown away by her poem, “Little YELLOW Slut,” a devastating look at the way Asian women are depicted in the media.
‘The New and Selected Yuri’ includes poems like this; the manner by which Japanese women are imprisoned behind a ‘Noh mask,’ but Kageyama doesn’t leave it at that.
Unlike many American Gender First feminists,she is capable of understanding how men are also victims of outmoded customs, though they are not dismissed merely as “reproductive machines,” as one minister was caught saying in an unguarded moment. Women should be “quiet” and have bok choy ready when the men come home from
drinking with the boys.
It’s also the women, who bear the miscarriages, the abortions, the rapes, the beatings from a father, who, years later, can’t give an explanation for why he did it. In the United States, the white men who own the media and Hollywood blame the brutality against women on the poor and minority men. White middle class women, and their selected minority women, who want to remain on their payrolls in business, politics and academia, have become surrogates in this effort.
Courageously, Yuri Kageyama debunks this myth and correctly calls out men of all backgrounds and classes as women abusers. The father who inflicts gratuitous punishment upon his daughter is a NASA scientist.
These poems are honest. Blunt. When she says that writing a poem is like taking “a bungee jump,” she means it.
Very few of the world poets have Yuri Kageyama’s range. Her poems critique Japanese as well as American society. The Chikan. The arrogance of the gaijin, who, even when guests in a country, insist that everybody be like them. Some are erotic. You might find allusions to Richard Wright, Michelangelo, John Coltrane. Music is not only entertainment but like something that one injects, something that invades the nervous system.
I asked writer Haki Madhubuti, what he meant by African Centrism. He said that it was based upon selecting the best of African traditions.
Some of Yuri Kageyama’s poems might be considered Nippon Centric. She wants to jettison those customs that oppress both men and women, especially the women, and keep those of value. The Kakijun, The Enryo and The Iki.”

Kageyama has named the band she reads with The Yuricane in homage of Reed’s words.
Among other artists in Japan and the U.S. that Kageyama has read with: Shuntaro Tanikawa, Geraldine Kudaka, Victor Hernandez Cruz, Seamus Heaney, Sachiko Yoshihara, the Broun Fellinis and Lorna Dee Cervantes.
Kageyama’s poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in many literary anthologies and magazines, including “Y’Bird,” “Greenfield Review,” “San Francisco Stories,” “On a Bed of Rice,” “Breaking Silence: an Anthology of Asian American Poets,” “POW WOW: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience _ Short Fiction from Then to Now,” “phati’tude,” “Other Side River,” “Beyond Rice,” “Bridge, ” “Yellow Silk,” “Stories We Hold Secret,” “KONCH,” “Pirene’s Fountain,” “MultiAmerica” and “Obras.”
She has translated Kenzaburo Oe and Hiromi Ito, as well as the words of Suzushi Hanayagi for Robert Wilson’s performance piece “KOOL _ Dancing in My Mind.”
Kageyama’s poetry, translated into Japanese, is featured in a 1985 anthology of Japanese-American and Japanese-Canadian poetry published by Doyo Bijutsusha. She has a 1993 book in Japanese co-written with Hamao Yokota on the Japanese workplace.
She is a magna cum laude graduate of Cornell University and holds an M.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.
She lives in Tokyo, where she also works as a journalist. To visit Yuri Kageyama's website CLICK HERE

Isaku Kageyama, born on December 12, 1981 in San Francisco, California, is a taiko drummer in Boston, MA. who has brought the traditional Japanese instrument to the cutting-edge modern art scene across the globe. His distinct sound, strongly rooted in classical Japanese music, adds elements from a wide variety of music genres such as rock, jazz, electronic, Latin, and African, to produce a powerful groove that goes far beyond traditional taiko. 

Isaku Kageyama is a pioneering taiko drummer who has brought the traditional Japanese instrument to the cutting-edge modern art scene across the globe. His distinct sound, strongly rooted in classical Japanese music, adds elements from a wide variety of music genres such as rock, jazz, electronic, Latin, and African, to produce a powerful groove that goes far beyond traditional taiko.
Isaku has collaborated with jazz greats Terumasa Hino, Toshinori Kondo, and Kazutoki Umezu, as well as a wide range of ethnic musicians such as NATA (digeridoo), and Winchester Nii Tete (African percussion), He has worked on projects with fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, and anime legend Takashi Yanase.
He is also a two-time National Odaiko (large drum) Champion, becoming the youngest person to win highest honors at the Mr. Fuji Odaiko Contest in 2000, and Hokkaido in 2003. Isaku has appeared in television commercials and events for brands such as Toyota, Boeing, Japan Postal Service, Aioi Sonpo and Shin Nihon Tatemono.
A powerful musician and icon of traditional Japanese culture, Isaku is one of the primary taiko drummers who will carry the art into the 21st century.

He has a popular online taiko course on Loopto with students from around the world 

To Visit Isaku Kageyama's website CLICK HERE

June 10, 2012

Quintessential Quincy


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. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, he has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live performance, movies and television.

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. In the mid-50's, he was the first popular conductor-arranger to record with a Fender bass. His theme from the hit TV series Ironside was the first synthesizer-based pop theme song. As the first black composer to be embraced by the Hollywood establishment in the 60's, he helped refresh movie music with badly needed infusions of jazz and soul. His landmark 1989 album, Back On The Block--named "Album Of The Year" at the 1990 Grammy Awards-- brought such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Miles Davis together with Ice T, Big Daddy Kane and Melle Mel to create the first fusion of the be bop and hip hop musical traditions; while his 1993 recording of the critically acclaimed Miles and Quincy Live At Montreux, featured Quincy conducting Miles Davis' live performance of the historic Gil Evans arrangements from the Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain sessions, garnered a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance. As producer and conductor of the historic "We Are The World" recording (the best-selling single of all time) and Michael Jackson's multi-platinum solo albums, Off The Wall, Bad and Thriller (the best selling album of all time, with over 50 million copies sold), Quincy Jones stands as one of the most successful and admired creative artist/executives in the entertainment world.

His 1995 recording, Q's Jook Joint, again showcased Quincy's ability to mold the unique talents of an eclectic group of singers and musicians, in what resulted in a retrospective of his broad and diverse career from that of a seasoned Jazz musician, to skilled composer, arranger, and bandleader, to acclaimed record producer.

A reference to the backwoods club houses of rural America in the 1930's, 40's, and 50's, the platinum selling Q's Jook Joint featured performances by artists such as Bono, Brandy, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Coolio, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Gloria Estefan, Rachelle Ferrell, Aaron Hall, Herbie Hancock, Heavy D., Ron Isley, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, Queen Latifah, Tone Loc, the Luniz, Brian McKnight, Melle Mel, Shaquille O'Neal, Joshua Redman, the Broadway musical troupe Stomp, SWV, Take 6, newcomer Tamia, Toots Thielemans, Mervyn Warren, Barry White, Warren Wiebe, Charlie Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Mr. X, and Yo-Yo, among others, and garnered seven Grammy nominations. His recording, From Q, With Love, featured a collection of 26 love songs that he recorded over the last 32 years of his more than 50 year career in the music business.

Named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Quincy Jones was born on March 14, 1933, in Chicago and brought up in Seattle. While in junior high school, he began studying trumpet and sang in a gospel quartet at age 12. His musical studies continued at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he remained until the opportunity arose to tour with Lionel Hampton's band as a trumpeter, arranger and sometime-pianist. He moved on to New York and the musical "big leagues" in 1951, where his reputation as an arranger grew. By the mid-50's, he was arranging and recording for such diverse artists as Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Big Maybelle, Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderly and LeVern Baker.

In 1957, Quincy decided to continue his musical education by studying with Nadia Boulanger, the legendary Parisian tutor to American expatriate composers such as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copeland. To subsidize his studies he took a job with Barclay Disques, Mercury's French distributor. Among the artists he recorded in Europe were Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel and Henri Salvador, as well as such visitors from America as Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine and Andy Williams. Quincy's love affair with European audiences continues through the present: in 1991, he began a continuing association with the Montreux Jazz and World Music Festival, which he serves as co-producer.

Quincy won the first of his many Grammy’s in 1963 for his Count Basie arrangement of "I Can't Stop Loving You." Quincy's 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.

When he became vice-president at Mercury Records in 1961, Quincy became the first high-level black executive of an established major record company. Toward the end of his association with the label, Quincy turned his attention to another musical area that had been closed to blacks--the world of film scores. In 1963, he started work on the music for Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker and it was the first of his 33 major motion picture scores. In 1985, he co-produced Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple, which garnered eleven Oscar nominations, introduced Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to film audiences, and marked Quincy's debut as a film producer. In 1991 Quincy helped launch NBC-TV's hit series, The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, for which he served as an executive producer.

In 1990, Quincy Jones formed Quincy Jones Entertainment (QJE), a co-venture with Time Warner, Inc. The new company, which Quincy served as CEO and chairman, had a broad ranging, multi-media agenda which encompassed programming for current and future technologies, including theatrical motion pictures and network, cable and syndicated television. QJE produced NBC Television's Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (now in syndication), and UPN's In The House and Fox Television's Mad TV, among other syndicated shows and television specials. In 1991 Jones founded VIBE Magazine, and with his publishing group VIBE Ventures, would go on to acquire SPIN and Blaze Magazines before divesting his magazine interests.
In January 1992, Quincy Jones executive produced the An American Reunion concert at Lincoln Memorial, an all-star concert and celebration that was the first official event of the presidential inaugural celebration and drew widespread acclaim as an HBO telecast.

On March 25, 1996, Quincy Jones, executive produced the most watched awards show in the world, the 68th Annual Academy Awards. The show received widespread acclaim as one of the most memorable Academy Award shows in recent years.

In 1997, Quincy Jones formed the Quincy Jones Media Group. QJMG’s feature film projects in development include such highly anticipated films as the adaptations of the Ralph Ellison novel Juneteeth, David Halberstam’s The Children for Home Box Office in association with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, a bio-pic on the 19th century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, Pimp and Seeds of Peace for Showtime, among others. For television, QJMG is developing the sit-com The White Guy. QJMG is also active in live entertainment, direct response marketing, and cross-media projects for home entertainment and educational applications. Along with Harvard University and MicroSoft, Jones produced the complete encyclopedia of African and African-American culture, Encarta Africana.

As a record company executive, Quincy remained highly active in the recording field throughout the 1990s as the guiding force behind his own Qwest Records, which boasted such important artists as New Order, Tevin Campbell, Andre Crouch, Gregory Jefferson and Justin Warfield. New Order's album, Substance earned Qwest a gold album in 1987. Tevin Campbell's T.E.V.I.N was both a critical sensation and major commercial success, and the label's release of the Boyz N The Hood soundtrack album was among the most successful soundtrack recordings of 1991. Qwest Records has also released soundtrack albums from the major motion pictures Sarafina! and Malcolm X.

In 1994, Quincy Jones led a group of businessmen, including Hall of Fame football player Willie Davis, television producer Don Cornelius, television journalist Geraldo Rivera and businesswoman Sonia Gonsalves Salzman in the formation of Qwest Broadcasting, a minority controlled broadcasting company which purchased television stations in Atlanta and New Orleans for approximately $167 million, establishing it as one of the largest minority owned broadcasting companies in the United States. Quincy served as chairman and CEO of Qwest Broadcasting. In 1999, taking advantage of the rapid escalation of broadcast station values, Jones and his partners sold Qwest Broadcasting for a reported $270 million.
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. He is also the recipient of the French Ministry of Culture's Distinguished Arts and Letters Award. Quincy is the recipient of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music's coveted Polar Music Prize, and the Republic of Italy's Rudolph Valentino Award. He is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from Howard University, the Berklee College of Music, Seattle University, Wesleyan University, Brandeis University, Loyola University (New Orleans), Clark Atlanta University, Claremont University's Graduate School, the University of Connecticut, Harvard University, Tuskegee University, New York University, University of Miami and The American Film Institute, among others. In 2001, Jones was named a Kennedy Center Honoree, for his contributions to the cultural fabric of the United States of America; and most recently was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, the nation’s highest jazz honor.

In 1990, his life and career were chronicled in the critically acclaimed Warner Bros. film, Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones, produced by Courtney Sale Ross, a film which helped illuminate not only Quincy's life and spirit, but also revealed much about the development of the African American musical tradition. 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.

In 2001, Quincy Jones added the title “Best Selling Author” to his list of accomplishments when his autobiography “Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones” entered the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers lists. Released by Doubleday Publishing, the critically acclaimed biography retells Jones’ life story from his days as an impoverished youth on the Southside of Chicago through a massively impressive career in music, film and television where he worked beside legends such as Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson, among many others. In conjunction with the autobiography, Rhino Records released a 4-cd boxed set of Jones’ music, spanning his more than 5 decade career in the music business, entitled “Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones.”

The audio recording of “Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones,” (Simon & Schuster) earned Jones his 27th Grammy Award, in the Best Spoken Word Category, while “Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones” garnered him a 15th NAACP Image Award, in the category of Outstanding Jazz Artist.
In 2008 “The Complete Quincy Jones: My Journey & Passions, (Palace Press) examined the virtuosity of the man Frank Sinatra named “Q,” celebrating his prolific contribution to American art and culture. The book included a foreword by Clint Eastwood, preface from Bono, an introduction by Maya Angelou and an afterword by Sidney Poitier. Comprised of personal interviews and recollections from Jones, this collection peers behind the veil of celebrity, with extraordinary access to his creative inspirations and achievements.

Jones next projects include the forthcoming release of Soul Bossa Nostra, an album featuring some of today’s biggest recording artists and producers such as Usher, Ludacris, Akon, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, T-Pain, Robin Thicke, LL Cool J, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Wyclef Jean, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, Three 6 Mafia, David Banner, Bebe Winans, Mervyn Warren, Jermaine Dupri, DJ Paul, and Scott Storch, among others, who have joined together to celebrate the music of the multi-Grammy winning producer, composer and arranger by recording contemporary versions of popular recordings from his massive catalog; the book “Q on Producing” which recounts his six-decade long career working in the recording studio with music icons such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson, among many others; a duets album with Stevie Wonder and Tony Bennett; as well as multiple projects for film and television
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. The initiative has established Municipal Child Centers in the cities of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Asmara (Eritrea), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Kigali (Rwanda) and Nablus (Palestine) where youth are being trained to run child-based programs in health, nutrition, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Sports and Arts.

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.

A centerpiece of Project Q is the Q Prize, which recognizes extraordinary leadership by public figures and social entrepreneurs who are championing the needs of children. The inaugural Q Prize was awarded in January 2007 to Scott Neeson, founder of the Cambodian Children’s Fund, and over $600,000 was raised in support of Neeson’s work. The 2008 Q Prize will be awarded on October 23 in New York City.
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.

To visit Quincy Jones' website CLICK HERE