Warm Southern Breeze

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Quincy Jones: “Being a good parent” is top priority.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 26, 2010

What’s it like to have your priorities in order?

Ask Quincy Jones.

At the recent American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ annual “I Create Music” expo at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel last Friday night (23 April 2010), the 77-year old producer said while it’s been a “blessing” to have worked with “every major artist of the 20th century,” his most important jobs is “being a good parent.

During the hour long conversation/interview with pop music entertainer “Ludacris,” Mr. Jones called his children and grandchildren , “the pride of my life now,” and added that seeing their success is “my Nobel Prize.

Speaking specifically about his career, he said, “The other things, you know, that’s a gift from God and I cherish it. I don’t take it for granted.

Ludacris asked Mr. Jones about everything from music, to marriage, to money, but he credited music with saving him from a “gangster” lifestyle in Chicago, where he grew up. He later learned all the brass instruments, and aimed toward mastering the trumpet. He added that, “As soon as I started playing, I started hearing other instruments in my head.”

Advising aspiring musicians, he encouraged them to have “humility with your creativity and grace with your success.” He explained that, “It’s really important because it’s really not you. You’re a terminal for a higher power.

Recollecting, he said though he’s been nominated for 79 Grammy Awards, he said that his favorite musical memory was recording with Franklin in 1971. “It was a moment when God was in the studio and … it was magic,” he said.

He credited his success to keeping an open mind saying that “I never turn my curiosity off.” When he first began working as a musician, he started traveling as a composer and arranger. He encouraged the crowd of more than 2,500 to travel the world and “get a big dream, so if you get halfway there, you’re still OK.”

Offering advice on musical success, he said that, “You have to have melody, rhythm and harmony to make a complete music. The melody, that’s the power. That’s the voice from God. Melody gets you straight in the heart.

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