When your music legacy is as rich as Quincy Jones, it's hard to imagine celebrating a lifetime of achievements in one evening for one night only..
Somehow The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) succeeded in honoring Jones for his contribution to music with a 75th birthday celebration where he was presented with ASCAP's prestigious Pied Piper Award with an all-star lineup of artists whom he's collaborated with, mentored and inspired throughout the years.
New York's Nokia Theatre in Times Square buzzed as family and friends shared birthday wishes with the guest of honor simply known as "Q." Vocal powerhouses such as Roberta Flack, Al Jarreau, Ashford & Simpson, Tony Bennett, Siedah Garrett, Patti Austin, James Ingram, Take 6 and others paid homage to their musical mentor in song with his classic tunes.
R&B singer Tevin Campbell, who was only 12 the first time he worked with Quincy said, “Quincy is the man that everyone can look up to no matter what their genre of music. He’s a great person and a great artist.”
Tony award-winning tap dancer Savion Glover, who opened the night with a show-stopping performance, echoed those sentiments by acknowledging his mentor's power of influence. “Quincy’s had such an impact on my life not only as a musician or an artist but as a Black man. I appreciate what he has done for me.”
Other knockout performances of the evening’s festivities included Latin chanteuse Gloria Estefan who delivered a lighthearted rendition of “Me and Mrs. Jones,” soulman James Ingram who brought down the house with his hit “One Hundred Ways” while jazz vocalist Clark Terry scatted his way to a standing ovation.
Around the room fans tapped their feet to the classic tunes allowing the music to take them on a musical journey of Q’s stellar career. It was an unforgettable evening and not just for artists he has influenced but for Q himself who said, “ I cannot describe the emotions I feel right now. I will treasure this night for the rest of my life.”—Additional reporting by Nazenet Habtezghi