×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

As activist, Jones leads with his heart

Billion-Dollar Maestro: Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones started giving back early — and never quit. The music impresario has worked on countless humanitarian campaigns over the years, supporting Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s and famously orchestrating the 1985 charity sing-along “We Are the World.”

More recently he has backed several music education initiatives and another all-star sing-along, this time by Middle Eastern musicians, to raise money for children in that region. He also makes time for medical research nonprofits and fundraisers while remaining a prolific producer.

“Love drips from his finger tips,” says Madelyn Bonnot Griffin, exec director of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium, who traces his philanthropic drive to his belief that music changed his life. “He absolutely every day thinks where he came from. It resonates through his soul.”

Indeed, Jones has spoken frequently about how a chance encounter with a piano ignited his love for music and set him on a path away from juvenile delinquency. Bonnot Griffin, who got to know Jones decades ago while running one of his TV stations in New Orleans, says he taught her then to never underestimate the power of one kind word or hug for those in reduced circumstances.

“Things we take for granted make a difference in people’s lives,” she says.

Jones is working to get more instruments in children’s hands and to broaden music curriculum to include American jazz greats, in addition to European figures such as Beethoven, through the organization.

The past four years, the organization has worked with Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts, VH1 Save the Music, Mr. Holland’s Opus and UCLA, launching programs in South L.A., New Orleans and New Jersey. Jones is working with the L.A. Unified School District to develop its music curriculum.

“Q is just the groove that brings it together,” Bonnot Griffin says. “He’s very available when we need him.”

Jones is also involved in Global Gumbo Group, an initiative to raise money and awareness in the Middle East through music. A partnership between Jones and Emirati social entrepreneur Badr Jafar, org released the charity single “Tomorrow/Bokra,” showcasing Middle Eastern singers and and recently announced a Dubai Music Week slated for Sept. 25-30.

“Tomorrow/Bokra” was a No. 1 hit in the Middle East, and has racked up more than 7 million views on YouTube. According to G3 exec director Taymoor Marmarchi, the single has raised $450,000, all of which has been disbursed to children’s charities.

Jones has also been providing inspiration for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation since its formation five years ago, according to Michelle Sie Whitten, exec director of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation.

“We couldn’t do what we do without Quincy,” she says. “He brings a certain amount of magic, a Quincy dust, to everything.”

More Music

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Nicki MinajCFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner,

    Nicki Minaj Parts Ways With Longtime Managers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nicki Minaj has parted ways with Gee Roberson and Cortez Bryant and Blueprint/ Maverick Management, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. She had worked with the pair for the majority of her career. The source says the decision was mutual and amicable, and there was no specific reason for the split, adding [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music Launches Free Streaming Tier, Through Alexa Only (for Now)

    Amazon Music today basically soft-launched its free streaming tier, in which U.S. customers of its Alexa voice assistant will have access to top Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations, at no cost. The limited access that the new free service provides — it’s only available through Alexa, and when the listener requests a song, [...]

  • Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Short

    Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Partnership With New Shoes and Short Films (Watch)

    Donald Glover and Adidas Originals today announced Donald Glover Presents, a creative partnership that unveiled a new line of shoes and a series of brief — and very funny — films to accompany them. (Watch them below.) Donald Glover Presents reimagines threeAadidas styles, the Nizza, the Continental 80, and the Lacombe. The shoes feature uneven [...]

  • Cypress Hill Walk of Fame Honor

    For Cypress Hill, Stoned Is the Way of the Walk of Fame

    The skunky smell is a familiar one. Inside the Cypress Hill tour bus, a thick cloud of smoke billows in the air. It’s the Los Angeles hip-hop group’s 30th year and they’re being rewarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6201 Hollywood Blvd.). They’ll probably refer to it as their Hollyweed [...]

  • Kodak Black Arrested at Border on

    Kodak Black Arrested at Border on Gun and Drug Charges

    Rapper Kodak Black and three other people were arrested after they allegedly attempted to cross the U.S.-Canada border with guns and marijuana, officials told NBC News on Thursday. The 21-year-old rapper missed concerts at the House of Blues in Boston on Wednesday night after he was stopped at the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge near Buffalo hours [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content