Quincy Jones Keynote At SXSW

Musical heavyweight Quincy Jones will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming March 19 at the Austin Convention Center in Texas.

The address is expected to focus on how music has the power to influence and create positive change and the need for artists to use their talent to bring people together for the good of humanity.

Photo: AP Photo
Quincy Jones appears onstage at the We Are The Future event, which he organized, at Rome’s Circus Maximus.

Jones, who was named by Time magazine as one of the six most influential Jazz artists of the 20th century, has left his mark on almost all facets of the music world, including as a composer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, record producer, record executive, film and television producer, magazine founder, multimedia entrepreneur and humanitarian.

After beginning his career at age 13, Jones worked with such artists as Ray Charles, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holiday, Billy Eckstine, Bumps Blackwell, Clark Terry and Bobby Tucker.

Along with producing and conducting the “We Are The World” recording, which benefited Ethiopian famine relief and became the best-selling single of all time, Jones also produced Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum albums Off The Wall, Bad and Thriller.

Jones has 27 Grammy Awards under his belt – the most of any living musician – as well as an Emmy Award; the Academy of Motion, Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award; seven Academy Award nominations and even France’s highest civilian honor, the Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur.

He was also recognized as a Kennedy Center Honoree and named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest jazz honor in the U.S.

Jones is working on a duets album with Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder and a tribute album of his recordings featuring artists including Usher, John Legend and Amy Winehouse.

Other projects include a feature film documentary on Brazil’s annual Carnival Festival, a bio-pic mini-series on Louis Armstrong and a chain of nightclub/restaurants based on his album Q’s Jook Joint. The first club is set to open in Las Vegas in 2009.

The South By Southwest Music & Media Conference takes place March 18-22. The conference includes panels, interviews, workshops, peer meetings and a trade show exhibition. The music festival features more than 1,700 acts on stages throughout downtown Austin.

For more information on SXSW or to register for the conference, go to sxsw.com or e-mail [email protected].