Few people in history have had such a profound impact on music as Quincy Jones. With a list of accomplishments including being a 30-time Grammy winner, 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, he is now turning his focus to education.
In 2017, Jones, 87, started Qwest TV, a streaming channel dedicated to jazz, soul, funk and world music. To celebrate this year’s Juneteenth, the Chicago native launched 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,” the legend explained. “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 Jones does not aim to distinguish between black and white, he is rather working to acknowledge the ability of music to help unite a country that has been divided by racism. Hopefully, this new access to Qwest TV will be able to bring people of all kinds together and be used as a tool for personal development.
Photo: Sam Santos