The Department of Afro-American Studies announced this week that legendary jazz musician, composer and producer Quincy Jones will have a professorship named after him.
Time Warner and Harvard will co-sponsor a three-year visiting assistant professorship in the Afro-American Studies and Music Departments that will honor Jones, said Henry Louis Gates Jr., DuBois professor of the humanities and chair of the Afro-American Studies Department.
"I think it's wonderful," said Rashida Jones '97, a Currier House resident who is Quincy Jones' daughter. "I think this is a really good way to solidify the respect that I feel my dad warrants in the music business and in academia."
Rashida Jones said Gates, a long-time friend of her father's, announced the creation of the professorship at a party in December honoring Jones' 50 years in music.
"He was exceptionally pleased," she said. "But because he is such good friends with Professor Gates, it was like a good emotional moment with a friend."
The Quincy Jones Visiting Professor of African American Music will consist of three appointments of one year each over the next three years, with the first appointment expected to begin with the 1996-97 academic year.
"Music is one of the pillars of African American Studies," Gates said in a statement. "As important as literature or history are to the field, music demands the attention of any serious student of African American Studies."
But Gates said the professorship was also meant to honor Jones.
"We are especially pleased to be able to honor one of the giants--if not the giant--in African American popular music," Gates said in the statement.
"Without question, Quincy Jones stands alone in any survey of black popular music over the last quarter century," the professor continued.
Time Warner officials said they were motivated by a desire to honor Jones and his commitment to education.
"We wanted to celebrate the first half century of Quincy's career in a way that not only pays tribute to the importance of his achievements, but also honors his personal commitment to young people and education," Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Gerald M. Levin said in a statement this week.
"Quincy Jones' music is both unique and unifying," Levin said. "It began in the hearts of people intent on full equality and has given meaning and inspiration to their journey."
Jones is widely regarded as a master of musical hybrids, having combined over the course of his long career pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music.
Jones has won 26 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Living Legend Award.
He is the all-time leader in Grammy nominations with 76 and has received seven Oscar nominations.
Jones' recent release, Q's Jook Joint, is a mythological journey into backwoods club houses of rural America in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.
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