Friday, January 16, 2009

Tribune Press Release

Music Icon Quincy Jones Kicks-Off New Series in Tribune Newspapers

Jones Offers Perspective On Obama As Nation Celebrates Martin Luther King Day

CHICAGO, January 16, 2009 -- Tribune Company today announced the debut of a special series of articles and viewpoints, written by some of the world’s most recognized figures in music and the arts. The series will be carried by all of the company’s newspapers and their websites, and will launch this weekend in the Chicago Tribune and Hartford Courant with a piece authored by humanitarian, composer, producer, and music icon Quincy Jones. Other Tribune newspapers will carry the piece on Monday, Jan. 19th, as the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Day, and it will be syndicated by Tribune Media Services around the country.

"Quincy’s take on the election of Barack Obama is particularly relevant and poignant," said Lee Abrams, Tribune’s chief innovation officer, and the man who conceived the series. "As a young child, growing up in Chicago and Seattle, and later as a musician touring the segregated South, Quincy never dreamed he’d see the day when an African American would be elected President of the United States."

In the piece to be published Jones writes: " I sat with family and friends watching the election results, I resigned myself to tempering my emotions. Like all of Barack Obama’s supporters, I was encouraged by the strength, poise and deftness with which he ran his campaign. I knew that he was the best person for the job. But as a black man in America, I knew from experience to not let what I wanted to happen stray too far from the reality of what I knew could happen."

One of the world’s best-known composers, conductors and arrangers, Jones has worked with such recording artists as Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles and Michael Jackson, and such actor/producers as Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey. Jones has won 27 Grammy Awards and been nominated a record 79 times. He was honored with a Grammy "Legend" Award in 1991. Jones is perhaps best known as the producer of Michael Jackson’s "Thriller," which sold 109 million copies and for being the force behind the creation of the 1985 hit record "We Are The World," which benefited victims of wide-spread famine in Ethiopia.

Jones is the founder of the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation, a charity which connects children and teens with technology, education, culture and music. He is one of the founding members of the Institute for Black American Music (IBAM), and has been the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his humanitarian work around the world. He holds a multitude of honorary degrees; Harvard University honored him by endowing the Quincy Jones Professorship of Afro-American Music in 2000.

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