Legendary producer Quincy Jones, the man behind Michael Jackson’s biggest albums, is due to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall this Wednesday. He is taking part in a tribute to close friend and ‘astral twin’ Michael Caine (they were born in the same year, on the same day, within the same hour — both are now 81). The pair go way back, with Jones scoring Caine’s 1969 movie, The Italian Job, after which the London-born actor took the time to teach Jones how to speak Cockney rhyming slang.
He gave a decent recitation of one of Caine’s lessons last night at An Evening With Quincy Jones, held at the Royal College of Music in Kensington. During the event Jones was also inducted into the Mobo Awards’ hall of fame.
Jones may be 81 but his energy is undiminished — while in London he plans to continue his lobbying of the House of Commons to address the issue of music piracy (as he has also done with the governments of China and the USA). “You have the same problem here. Musicians need to come together to find a solution,” he said. “We will find a way. The record is gonna be three times as strong as it was before.”
Yesterday’s show was chaired by veteran radio DJ Paul Gambaccini and included soulful performances by Beverly Knight, Mica Paris, Jocelyn Brown and Sonique, as well as the Royal Docks Community School Choir from Newham singing tunes from Jones’s singular back catalogue.
Also worth highlighting is documentary Keep On Keeping’ On, produced by Jones, which is screening soon as part of the London Film Festival. The documentary follows jazz trumpeter Clark Terry and his mentoring of blind pianist Justin Kauflin.
A Night Out With Michael Caine is an NSPCC Benefit show at the Royal Albert Hall taking place on 1 October. Tickets from £22.90.