The man who brought us some of music’s most memorable songs and whose melodies can make a listener’s emotions rise and fall through a perfectly placed trumpet solo or a head-turning hook, and whose humanitarian efforts have affected lives around the globe, will be honored at UCLA on May 23, a day that marks 100 years since the school’s founding.
The Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Center at UCLA will present legendary record producer, musician, composer, film producer and humanitarian Quincy Jones with the 2019 Eudaimonia Award at its annual celebration. This year’s event, “Health in Harmony,” a concept captured in Jones’ attitude and spirit, highlights the power of music in the promotion of health.
The event, which is free for UCLA students, staff, faculty and alumni and their guests, will be held at the jane b semel HCI Community Garden amphitheater, located at UCLA’s Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. Those planning to attend must reserve tickets in advance at this website.
Jones’ career spans more than seven decades, beginning in the 1950s when he entered the music industry as a trumpet player and arranger. Since then he has brought the world renowned music and paved the way for some of its most notable artists. Over the course of his career, Jones has worked with greats such as Herb Alpert, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Dinah Washington and Aretha Franklin.
Named by Time magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Jones is the recipient of 28 Grammy Awards, the most for a living person and the second most in history; one Emmy Award, for his music composition for the television series “Roots;” seven Academy Award nominations and a special Academy Award for humanitarian contributions; and a Tony Award as producer for the musical revival of “The Color Purple.” He is just one of 21 people in the world to have earned an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
In 1961, Jones became the first high-level African-American executive of a major record label when he was named vice president of Mercury Records. His arrangement of “Fly Me to the Moon” was the first recording played on the moon by Buzz Aldrin when he landed in 1969. He also became a best-selling author in 2001 with his autobiography “Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones.”
Jones also has a history of humanitarian work, including his contributions to Operation P.U.S.H., established in 1971 to improve the economic status of African Americans in Chicago, Illinois. He also led successful efforts to bring together leading musical artists in 1985 for the recording of “We Are the World.” Jones served as producer for the song, which remains the best-selling single ever.
In 1999, Jones, along with U2 lead singer Bono and Bob Geldof, met with Pope John Paul II as part of a delegation to end third-world debt. The visit resulted in $27 billion being distributed for relief in Bolivia, Mozambique and the Ivory Coast.
Jones’ 2004 We are the Future initiative was established and has resulted in child centers in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Palestine to provide training in health, nutrition, sports, arts and information and communication technology for local youth.
In addition to Jones, recipients of the jane b semel appreciation award, which honors students, faculty, and staff for their significant contributions in promoting a culture of health and well-being, will also be recognized. The 2019 awardees are: Scott Waugh, executive vice chancellor and provost; Richard Jackson, professor emeritus in the Fielding School of Public Health; Rena Orenstein, associate director of student health education and promotion; Goob Link, project manager, disabilities and computing program; Elisabeth Nails, MoveWell graduate student researcher; and Madison Feldman, undergraduate student and Semel HCI Center staff member.
Celebration festivities begin with a pre-show fair from 4 to 5:30 p.m.; the live show follows. Performers include The Bash Dogs, a band made up of UCLA students; the UCLA Women in Jazz ensemble, Resonance, which is a student acapella group; and the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz ensemble.
After the show, a reception will be hosted with free food from Everytable.