Jones uses video podcast to stay fresh


Quincy Jones says the one thing he never wants to do is grow up. The legendary music man keeps himself young by embracing today's culture and has become a pioneer in the digital space.

This week, he debuted his video podcast series, with the first installment aptly titled "Episode 1." Season 1 will feature at least 26 episodes. Done in partnership with podcast aggregator and distributor Wizzard Media, the series features a behind-the-scenes look at Jones in the recording studio and also chronicles his involvement in film, popular culture, politics and events around the world.

"Episode 1" takes fans inside the studio with Jones and Celine Dion to record "I Knew I Loved You" for the tribute album "We All Love Ennio Morricone." The song originally was the instrumental theme of the 1984 film "Once Upon a Time in America," starring Robert De Niro. This new Jones-produced version was first performed publicly by Dion at the Academy Awards in February (pictured) to pay tribute to composer Morricone, who was feted with an honorary Oscar.

Jones was honored Saturday at the Grammy Foundation's Starry Night gala in Los Angeles as the ambassador of the Recording Academy's 50th anniversary celebration. De Niro, Gayle King, Naomi Campbell, Patti LaBelle and Kanye West were among those who paid tribute. More than $1 million was raised to support the Grammy Foundation, setting a record for the event.

Mother Earth grooves with Nat'l Geographic

The green movement and music continue to collide -- this time with National Geographic.

The global cultural heritage brand is launching a music and radio division designed to promote international music and expand planet-friendly living. The National Geographic Music and Radio Group is headed by industry veteran David Beal, who will serve as president.

The new unit will focus on music supervision services for all National Geographic projects; its consumer music Web site,, which features 99-cent downloads; live events; syndicated radio shows and HD/Internet channels; a record label with three imprints to cover artist releases, soundtracks and kids music; music publishing to manage the National Geographic Society's 12,000 copyrights; and TV projects centered on music for the National Geographic Channel.

On the radio side, NGMR already has several distribution partners, including Clear Channel, Salem Communications and NPR.

Beal and executive vp Mark Bauman, who is charged with radio and video production initiatives, already are working with such artists as Jack Johnson, Ben Harper and Peter Gabriel. Because of the multiple platforms National Geographic offers, many artists are using it as a vehicle to promote and distribute music.