Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hallelujah for Quincy Jones at 75

March 14, 2008 was the 75th birthday of the phenomenal Quincy Jones.

Musical genius Jones was born in Chicago in 1933.  He studied his craft at Seattle University and at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

As a black history legend in music, Jones has been honored with 27 Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, seven Oscar nominations, plus an honorary Oscar.

Quincy has worn all of his industry hats as a musical director, film score creator, composer, musician, producer, conductor, arranger, and record company executive.

In 1953, Quincy Jones was the first arranger/conductor to utilize the newly-invented Fender electric bass in audio recordings.

He played and toured with jazz greats Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, and Dizzy Gillespie.  Jones has scored over 50 films.

His first film score was “The Pawnbroker,” in 1963.  Jones has produced albums for the very best, including Michael Jackson.  Besides winning all of those Grammy Awards, Quincy Jones has produced the actual network presentation of the Grammys on television.

“Q" recorded “Hallelujah,” Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, a contemporary version of the famous classical work in 1991.  Released in 1992, the album featured Patti Austin, Andrae Crouch, Sandra Crouch, Clifton Davis, Charles Dutton, Kim Fields, Edwin Hawkins, Tramaine Hawkins, Linda Hopkins, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, Marilyn McCoo, Stephanie Mills, Jeffrey Osborne, Phylicia Rashad, Joe Sample, Take 6, Vanessa Williams, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong.

For his incredible story, discover Q - The Autobiography of Quincy Jones.

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Posted by Hugh Smith on 03/19 at 01:02 AM
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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Margaret Rosezarian Harris Conducts Key Movements

Margaret Rosezarian Harris, (1944 – 2000), was the first black woman to conduct the symphony orchestras of 16 American cities, including Los Angeles, Detroit, and Chicago.

A child prodigy, she played piano at age 3, and at age 10, played a Mozart Concerto with the Chicago Symphony.

Miss Harris started her career as a pianist, but achieved much more attention as a celebrated conductor.

The Chicago, Illinois born Margaret won a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.  She was also a graduate of New York City’s Julliard School of Music.

Margaret Harris conquered Broadway as the music director of the musical Hair in 1970.

She passed away this week, 8 years ago, at age 56.

Classical Trivia: William Grant Still was the first African American to conduct a major symphony orchestra, (The Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1936).

Posted by Hugh Smith on 03/05 at 07:30 PM
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