By Geoffrey Maingart
West Hollywood, CA(Hollywood Today)10/3/12/—It was an honor to be at this event with legendary composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder and multi-media entrepreneur, Quincy Jones. Many wonderful actors and musicians attended including Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Terri Hatcher, Billy Zane, Lang Lang, daughter Rashida Jones and so many others.
The presentation by Sidney Poitier was incredible and moving. He slowly spoke in his amazing voice and spoke of life when he and Quincy were young and trying to break into Hollywood. Their collaborations were all legendary, from “The Heat of the Night” and on. To have Quincy Jones introduced by such an icon is an award in itself. Morgan Freeman next spoke of how Quincy Jones affected his life through the years and joked about having to follow Sidney Poitier with a speech. He also spoke reverently about both Jones and Poitier. I am a great fan of Morgan Freeman and follow his scientific series Through the Wormhole religiously. To have these three great legends on the stage together was an experience never to be forgotten.
Rashida Jones introduced her father in a loving introduction. Quincy then told us of life here in the 1950’s and how Poitier helped him break through the color barrier to become one of the first black movie composers. He spoke of his early days in Chicago and hopes of becoming a gangster until he met up with a piano. We heard of the beginnings of Jones, Poitier and Belafonte that opened the doors of this city to all. Then speaking of the future, he explained, think of life as a puzzle with problems to be solved instead of being frustrated by the disappointments of life. If everything came easy, life would be a bore instead of a challenge. This was a night of wisdom and inspiration.
I had the chance to work with Quincy Jones at the Latin Casino in NJ during the late 1960’s and the experience then was incredible. We had a chance to speak and reminisce of that time with him and Sinatra. The gold pinky ring he still wears was a gift from Sinatra.
This was followed by a wonderful performance by the amazing concert pianist, Lang Lang entitled Dedication. Lang Lang was on the committee that chose Quincy for the award and also spoke of the inspiration and friendship to him that Quincy represented.
The setting for the event was poolside with candles floating in the pool at the Chateau Marmont and it began with a press and photo line as the celebrities entered. This was my first experience of seeing how harsh Hollywood photographers can occasionally be. A string quartet played during this entrance for about an hour. This is the 21st anniversary of the Montblanc De La Culture Arts Patronage Awards and 12 awards were given around the world with Jones representing the American choice. Previous winners have included Yoko Ono, HRH Charles Prince of Wales, Susan Sontag, and even Queen Sofia of Spain. This years 12 awards will also include Renzo Piano of Italy and Andrew Lloyd Webber of the UK.
A $20,000 donation will be made to the Quincy Jones charity Jazz Foundation of America and a special edition Montblanc Patron of the Art Limited Edition 2012 Joseph II writing instrument created to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the Awards will be given to Quincy. Joseph II, Holy roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790, was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and created scholarships for talented poor students. He was also a great supporter of Wolfgang Mozart. The iconic Montblanc star is a symbol of excellence and the brand has made an enduring commitment to encourage excellence through cultural advancement.
The accomplishments of Quincy Jones are too long to list. Here is a link to his website http://www.quincyjones.com
This event was organized beautifully and seamlessly by Lisa Jammal and Max McCormack of the PR company; This Is Mission www.thisismission.com
The best I can say is “Mission” Accomplished
Now in its 21st year, The Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award was established to honor and support individuals who have given exceptional time, energy, and funds to artists and their work. To be chosen, a winning patron has to demonstrate not only a history of personal commitment to the arts, but also a concern that the wider public should benefit as a result of that support. A jury of internationally renowned artists chooses 12 winners from a shortlist of 36 (3 nominees in each country). This year the American jury was made up of iconic writer Fran Lebowitz, fashion designer Michael Bastian, and concert pianist Lang Lang. The trio represents the style and culture that is at the heart of the Montblanc brand.
Jones was chosen in recognition of his role in supporting, nurturing, and guiding the music industry throughout the 21st Century. The key factor of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award is the $20,000 Montblanc will donate to the Jazz Foundation of America, a non-profit organization dedicated to the financial and medical support of aging jazz musicians.
Established in 1906, Montblanc is the one of the foremost luxury brands in the world. Montblanc is synonymous around the world with luxury craftsmanship and cultural awareness. From the classic Meisterstück fountain pen to Montblanc de la Culture, the brand’s identity lies in the luxury of culture. Visit Montblanc.com for more information.
About The Jazz Foundation of America:
The mission of the Jazz Foundation of America is to provide empowering, compassionate and personalized support services for jazz and blues musicians who have fallen on hard times due to illness, age and/or circumstance. In doing this, we are preserving and passing on the cultural legacy of the music now and for generations to come.
Quincy Jones Receives the Montblanc De La Culture Arts Patronage Award at a Celebrity Event at the Chateau Marmont http://www.chateaumarmont.com/
Photo Credit: Getty Images