Annual Great American Songbook Concert Dedicated to the Music of Quincy Jones

By
Allen Bush
February 4, 2013
Quincy Jones's prolific career has had a profound impact on the contemporary music industry unlike any artist the world has known. Berklee celebrates his 80th birthday by dedicating the annual Great American Songbook concert to his music.

Producer, arranger, conductor, film composer, and trumpeter Quincy Jones has been at the forefront of modern American music since his years at Berklee in the 1950s. He arranged for Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald; produced Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, and Ray Charles; was an Academy Award-nominee seven times for original music; and has received 27 Grammy Awards and 79 Grammy nominations.

In honor of Jones’s 80th birthday in March, his alma mater will celebrate this musical visionary with a 30-piece orchestra of faculty and students performing new arrangements of selections from his enduring musical legacy. Special guests and frequent Jones collaborators Siedah Garrett and Patti Austin will also perform.

Part of the Signature Music Series at Berklee, The Great American Songbook: The Music of Quincy Jones will take place Sunday, February 24, 7:30 p.m., at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. The venue is wheelchair accessible. Tickets for reserved seating are on sale now at $8 and $16 in advance, $12 and $20 day of show. Buy tickets at berklee.edu/bpc. For more information, call the Berklee Performance Center Box Office at 617 747-2261.

Under the direction of Rob Rose and Ken Zambello, the concert will highlight music from Jones’s entire career, featuring songs he wrote or produced for Michael Jackson, Tamia, and James Ingram, and for movies like The Wiz, The Color Purple, and In the Heat of the Night. Selections from his Grammy Award-winning albums The Dude and Back on the Block will also be featured.

Grammy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Garrett has cowritten a number of hit songs with Jones. Five songs credit Garrett as a cowriter on Back on the Block, and the track “The Places You Find Love” highlights her lead vocals. She and Jones wrote the theme song for the opening ceremony of the 2007 Special Olympics, and the opener of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. Garrett cowrote the No. 1 single “Man in the Mirror” and sang the duet “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” on Michael Jackson’s Bad, which Jones produced.

Austin, a Grammy Award-winning vocal stylist, is Jones’s goddaughter. Jones produced many of her biggest hit songs, including “How Do You Keep the Music Playing" and “Baby Come to Me,” both duets with James Ingram. She sang with Michael Jackson on “It's the Falling in Love" from his Off The Wall album, produced by Jones. She performed on The Dude, and scored two Top 10 Jazz albums, Every Home Should Have One and The Real Me, while signed to his Quest label.