It was definitely a pleasure and a privilege to intern for the legendary Quincy Jones Productions (QJP) during the summer of 2016. QJP manages all of Quincy Jones’ assets, as well as a roster of artists. I even got to meet the man himself during an album release party for QJP artist, Jacob Collier!
During a typical week (I worked Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays), we would review a list of in-process tasks and projects, and get status updates on them during our team meeting. My daily tasks included snail mailing, emailing, and creating itineraries in Master Tour (tour operation software). For instance, several team members and artists (including Quincy Jones himself) attended the Montreux Jazz Festival and I helped coordinate their travel itineraries. This year, there was a tribute to Quincy Jones and QJP artists Alfredo Rodriguez, Jacob Collier, and Grace and Richard Bona performed.
Along with the second summer intern, Jonathan, I helped with the set up and (end stage) planning of a major album release party for Jacob Collier. Jacob is a twenty-one year old musical virtuoso prodigy genius from London, UK. At the time Jonathan and I arrived at QJP, he had just finished mixing and mastering his debut album In My Room. The event was scheduled for June 22nd at the YouTube Space at the Google offices in Playa Vista.
Our primary involvement began one week prior to the event, when we compiled the guest list, sent out invitations, and made a spreadsheet of RSVPs. We placed all of the rental orders for the musical gear that Jacob needed for his set, and then picked it up on the day before the event. We helped set up the YouTube space and then, on the day of the show, worked check-in at the show. This day was noteworthy because on this day, I actually got to meet Quincy Jones! I wish I could have interacted with him more, but I had good interaction with the Jacob and he played a great set.
One of the most time-consuming projects on which I worked was Jacob Collier’s Patrion Campaign, a Kickstarter-like web site for artists through which Jacob raised funds for the production and release of his record. In exchange for supporting him, fans received various awards based on the the amount they pledged. For instance, someone who pledged as little as $20 would get a CD, and someone who pledged as much as $8500 got a private concert! Jonathan and I logged all of the patrons Jacob had acquired, plus their contact information, as well as their pledge level and corresponding reward—which could change over time if the patron made multiple contributions!
Another project on which I worked was compiling a timeline of jazz history for internal use. I researched jazz history and used my own knowledge of the genre to assemble a fairly comprehensive timetable beginning with turn of the 20th century (late 1800s) through the 1960s and 1970s. Though Quincy Jones is well-known for his work with Michael Jackson, producing mega-hit records such as “Thriller,” (still the best- selling album of all time in recorded music) and “Off the Wall,” he is a major figure in jazz—he’s produced and arranged for everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. Fun fact: Quincy arranged Sinatra’s signature hit “Fly Me to the Moon,” which was actually played on the moon during the first moon landing!
One of the most fun and creative assignments I was given—because it enabled me to use my music production skills and artistry—was to edit a live recording of a performance by Alfredo Rodriguez, a solo piano performance inside a cabaret club that corresponded to a video, in order to improve the overall sound quality and upload to various online platforms, such as SoundCloud.
My most challenging project was to conduct an audit of one of QJP’s artist’s social media presence, along with suggestions for how to build his following across platforms, including Twitter, Soundcloud, Spotify, Facebook and Snapchat. The presentation went so well, I was asked to deliver it, in person, to the artist, who was very receptive and grateful for the feedback.
I’m very grateful for the experience and for the opportunity to have worked with the amazing team at QJP!