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Music legend Quincy Jones visits AUS
Legendary American musician Quincy Jones visited American University of Sharjah (AUS) on Friday, September 27 for a special event held at the university's College of Arts and Sciences building. A large multicultural audience comprising students, faculty members, members of the AUS campus community as well as members of the public attended the engaging question-and-answer session.
"We are indeed pleased and honored to welcome an artist of the stature of Quincy Jones to our campus," said Dr. Thomas Hochstettler, Acting Chancellor of AUS. "His extraordinary career is a lesson in commitment, dedication, perseverance and pursuit of excellence and is something we can all be inspired by and learn from. From Nobel laureates to legendary artists, AUS is committed to hosting renowned individuals so that both our on- and off-campus community can benefit from their experience."
Badr Jafar, Managing Director of the Crescent Group, welcomed Jones to AUS and moderated the lively Q&A session. Jones spoke about his experience working with giants from the performing arts such as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Marlon Brando and Michael Jackson to name a few. Having lived and performed all over the world, the iconic record producer said, "The best advice I ever received was no matter where you go in the world, eat the food the people eat, listen to the music they listen to and always learn 30-40 words from the language. This was advice I received when I was 18 and it allows me to feel at home anywhere in the world."
When asked about the importance of music in the promotion of world peace, he said, "Music brings people together and is number one in promoting world peace. We all speak the same language; the language of music. It's the same all over the world. The last thing that will be left on the planet will be music and water. You just can't survive without either."
He encouraged the performing arts students to make sure to learn the science of any field of art that they wished to pursue. He gave the example of Marlon Brando who he said was extremely well-versed with the technicalities of his craft. Jones emphasized that it was crucial to put in the hours practicing one's craft in order to be successful at it.The event commenced with an introduction by Dr. Lowell Dwight Dickerson, Associate Professor in the Performing Arts Program.
Jones is the co-producer, with Michael Jackson, of the albums Off the Wall (1979) Thriller (1982), and Bad (1987) as well as being the producer and conductor of the charity song "We Are the World". His career spans six decades in the entertainment industry and during that period he has achieved a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991.
In 1968, Jones and his songwriting partner Bob Russell became the first African Americans to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Their nominated song, entitled "The Eyes of Love," was for the Universal Pictures film Banning. That same year, Jones became the first African American to be nominated twice within the same year for an Academy Award for Best Original Score, as he was also nominated for his work on the film In Cold Blood (1967). In 1971, Jones became the first African American to be named as the musical director/conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony. In 1995 he was the first African American to receive the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He is tied with sound designer Willie D. Burton as the African American with the most Oscar nominations; each has received seven nominations.