Few people in the history of recorded music have had as profound an impact as Quincy Jones. He’s a legendary composer and performer whose work has crossed multiple genres, races and media, a 30-time Grammy winner (including album of the year for 1989’s “Back on the Block”), and the producer of one of pop’s first teen queens, Lesley Gore, and two of the biggest albums of all time, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “Bad.”

With Qwest TV, the streaming channel dedicated to jazz, soul, funk and world music that he launched in 2017, Jones, 87, flexed his power as an educator and bridge-builder while continuing to annihilate racial boundaries in music. “I’m not naive because as a black man in America born at the time in this country that I was, I am very aware, but I try not to allow myself to see things through the prism of black and white,” Jones tells Variety. “I always try to view things through the prism of what is right and what is wrong.”

He’s marking this year’s Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865, with an initiative that will give schools around the U.S., from kindergarten to college, free access to Qwest TV’s educational platforms. “Kids in general today, especially in America, have no idea of the history of the music they are listening to,” he explains. “There is a direct line from jazz and the blues, be-bop to doo-wop to hip-hop, and everything in between that was born of them, from country and rock ‘n’ roll to pop. That is the beauty of Qwest TV. It is a platform where you can experience the origins of jazz, the blues and gospel music, and see and hear how it evolved into and influenced all types of music genres around the world.”

While he insists on not making a distinction between white and black kids, Jones does acknowledge the ability of music to help unite a country that has been divided by racism for so long. The globalizing effect of social media expands its potential. “Qwest TV is really building a wonderful community of people around the globe who love and appreciate great music, and that warms my soul,” he says. “That’s what I’ve always been about, bringing people together through music.”

It’s also a tool of personal development. Jones has applied the improvisational technique of jazz to his life outside of music, while Qwest TV co-founder Réza Ackbaraly, identifies the genre as the musical equivalent of desegregation. “Jazzmen are continuously working hard to develop musical knowledge and skills, which allow them to perform with anybody,” he says. “If you apply that outside of music, it really means that education is the foundation, and with more knowledge, awareness, and the ‘jazz values,’ one could navigate anywhere in the world, regardless of the skin color or social background, and this is freedom.”

Ultimately, though, Qwest TV is a celebration of America’s true folk music and the people who shaped it. “Jazz, the blues and gospel music are America’s only indigenous original art form,” Jones says. “It’s a music that was born from the pain, suffering and degradation of slavery and Reconstruction, so it is very powerful, soulful and honest. That is why it resonates so deeply with people, no matter what they look like or where they come from.”