An Evening Of Jazz To Honor Quincy Jones And Schmitt

GRAMMY winners to be recognized at sixth annual P&E Wing GRAMMY Week event
  • Photo: Jason LaVeris/
    Quincy Jones
  • Photo: Rick Diamond/
    Al Schmitt
December 18, 2012 -- 5:55 am PST

The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing will celebrate its sixth annual GRAMMY Week event titled An Evening Of Jazz honoring 27-time GRAMMY-winning producer Quincy Jones and 18-time GRAMMY-winning producer/engineer Al Schmitt for their commitment to excellence and ongoing support for the art and craft of recorded music. The event will be held during GRAMMY Week on Feb. 6, 2013, at the Village Recording Studios in West Los Angeles.

"The tireless efforts of the P&E Wing continue to raise awareness of the ever-evolving climate of sound quality and the increasing interest in the preservation and integrity of recorded music," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "This year, it is with great honor that we pay tribute to two industry pioneers who also continue to raise awareness in the field of recording and who have set precedents of excellence within the music community. The contributions of both Quincy Jones and Al Schmitt reflect incomparable bodies of work and we look forward to an unforgettable evening with these two icons."

With a career spanning more than six decades and encompassing the roles of composer; film, record and TV producer; artist; arranger; conductor; record company executive; magazine founder; multimedia entrepreneur; and humanitarian, Jones is an entertainment impresario. While working as a jazz musician in the '50s, Jones quickly realized his gift for musical arrangement, which led him to work with artists such as Count Basie, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington. Throughout the '60s and '70s he arranged music for legendary artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra. With a total of 33 major motion picture scores to date, Jones became the first African-American to break into the world of film scoring. In the '80s, Jones produced Michael Jackson's Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad, which went on to sell more than 200 million copies worldwide collectively. He has received numerous international awards and accolades, among them 27 GRAMMY Awards, a Recording Academy Trustees Award (1989) and a GRAMMY Legend Award (1991). A longtime humanitarian and activist, Jones is the founder of the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium, which celebrates and preserves the history of American popular music through music education programs in schools across the country.

Schmitt was introduced to the studio world at age 7 by his uncle, an engineer at Brunswick Records. At 19, he was employed at Apex Studios and mentored by Tom Dowd, who provided a well-rounded schooling that would serve Schmitt for more than four decades as an engineer and producer. From renowned studios Nola to Fulton Recording, where he learned the art of engineering for large orchestras from Bob Doherty, to his move to Radio Recorders in Hollywood, Calif., Schmitt's engineering prowess continued to grow through innovative recording techniques and an impressive discography of jazz artists. Throughout his career at RCA he engineered for Henry Mancini, garnering him his first GRAMMY in 1962 for Hatari! While Schmitt's engineering roster included Charles, Rosemary Clooney, Horace Silver, Cal Tjader, and Ike and Tina Turner, among others, in 1966 he switched his aspirations to become a producer. As a producer, Schmitt worked with such artists as Jefferson Airplane, Jackson Browne, Sam Cooke, and Neil Young. He ultimately returned to engineering and went on to make sonically exquisite and highly influential recordings for artists such as George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Natalie Cole, Kurt Elling, Diana Krall, Shelby Lynne, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Toto, among others. Schmitt has recorded more than 150 gold and platinum albums and has won 18 GRAMMY Awards and two Latin GRAMMYs. In 2006 he was honored with a Recording Academy Trustees Award. 

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