As a trumpeter, composer, arranger, conductor, producer, executive and entrepreneur, Quincy Jones has found success in nearly every facet of entertainment; however, it may very well be his humanitarian work that is his defining statement.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, Jones was one of the key supporters of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Operation Breadbasket. 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 to Scott Neeson, founder of the Cambodian Children’s Fund, and over $600,000 was raised in support of Neeson’s work. The 2nd Annual Q Prize went to Gustavo Dudamel and his mentor Dr. Jose Abreu. 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, education and efforts to restore the Gulf Coast (post-Katrina). Philanthropic partners include Malaria No More, Millennium Promise, and Usher’s New Look Foundation. Most recently, Quincy started the Quincy Jones Music Consortium, which you can learn about by clicking the link in the menu above.