A tip of the ASCAP for music legend, mentor
Stars come out for Jones tributeOnly in New York would a salute to a music icon open with a tap dance by Tony-winning choreographer Savion Glover and garbage lids clashing together by the cast of "Stomp," bringing honoree Quincy Jones and guest performer Tony Bennett to their feet in applause.
It was an evening of few spoken words and hours of stellar performances saluting Jones on Tuesday night as the recipient of ASCAP's Pied Piper Award. The invitation-only dinner event at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square created an intimate setting, with more than a dozen artists performing.
James Ingram did "One Hundred Ways," adding lyrics as a tribute to Jones. "You made me believe in myself," he sang. "You're gonna cut me off now before I start crying."
Jazz trumpeter Clark Terry played "Mumbles," then scatted a conversation with Jones and the audience.
Valerie Simpson and Siedah Garrett performed a duet of "Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)" from "The Color Purple." Garrett then sang the Michael Jackson hit "Man in the Mirror," which she co-wrote with Glen Ballard, and Simpson joined Nick Ashford for their hit "Stuff Like That."
1960s hitmaker Lesley Gore sang a medley of "It's My Party" and "You Don't Own Me."
"Quincy was my mentor," Gore said after her performance. "He took me — a girl from Brooklyn — into the studio when I was 16. I never would have
gone into the studio at 16 without him. He brought out my performances."
Gloria Estefan took the stage for "Me and Mr. (Quincy) Jones." Ingram joined Patti Austin for a duet of "How Do You Keep the Music Playing."
Bennett brought the audience to its feet — three times — proving he still has his chops.
Other performers were Al Jarreau, James Moody, Take 6, Tamia, James "D-Train" Williams, Tevin Campbell with the Darryl Tookes Singers and the Opus 118 Music School of Harlem. Greg Phillinganes was music director.
The Pied Piper Award is given to entertainers who have made significant contributions to words and music. The last recipient before Jones was Bennett in 2002.
Susan Butler is a senior correspondent for Billboard.