Yoko Ono, Quincy Jones back kids at show
by Sarah Tully, The Orange County Register
When someone approaches Yoko Ono about a new project, she usually says she’ll think about it. Most of the time, that means no. But when she heard about the idea of a music education program in honor of her late husband, John Lennon, she quickly decided to go for it, Ono said.
That was about 15 years ago. On Thursday, Ono kicked off a celebration of the year that would have marked Lennon’s 70th birthday at the NAMM Show in Anaheim by further lending support to music education.
Ono was joined by producer Quincy Jones and singer Jackson Browne outside the Anaheim Convention Center arena in holding a press conference at the music products convention, as attendees watched. (They did not take questions.)
The stage was near the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, which Ono helped launch as a “back seat driver.” The bus with an audio and video recording facility goes around the country to give hands-on music experiences to students.
Before the celebrities made speeches, a music group performed from the Fernando Pullum Performing Arts School in Los Angeles, one of the locations helped by the bus program. Starting Monday, a pilot project to train students in a music studio program is set to begin, supported by the John Lennon organization.
Browne, who attended high school in Fullerton, has personally volunteered at the Pullum school and even now has some graduates in his band.
Jones said early music education was instrumental in his life. As a child, Jones said he wanted to be a gangster.
“At 11, I found the piano. Thank God and it saved my life,” Jones said.
Ono was sentimental about her support for music education.
“I think the human race is almost destroying this planet,” Ono said. “I think we can heal the planet with this music.”
At the end of the conference, Ono stood between Browne and Jones as they swayed and sang to “Give Peace a Chance,” before students joined in.
But before the music started, Ono grabbed the microphone and left the audience with a final thought: “Music forever.”
Yoko Ono Lennon, Quincy Jones and a Host of Other Celebrities Keep John Lennon’s Legacy Alive in 2010, with the Kick-off of his 70th Birthday Celebration at the 2010 NAMM Show
Legendary Icons Show Their Support of Music Education in His Honor; John Lennon Educational Tour Bus Keeps Legacy Alive for Students Across America
“This is precisely the type of project that John Lennon would have loved.”
—Yoko Ono Lennon
WHAT: Yoko Ono Lennon keeps John’s legacy alive by kicking off 2010 with a press conference at NAMM, the international music products association, supporting music education in celebration of Lennon’s 70th birthday. Quincy Jones and a host of other celebrities will speak out on the importance of music education on behalf of American youth. Students from South Central Los Angeles’ Fernando Pullum Performing Arts School will perform a medley of Lennon songs with Rickey Minor, the musical director of American Idol, Jackson Browne and Fishbone. Yoko is utilizing this year to celebrate John’s legacy and is showing her continued support of music education and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, which gives students across the country free hands-on access to music and the digital arts.
WHO: Yoko Ono Lennon, Quincy Jones, Jackson Browne, Fishbone, Rickey Minor, Joe Lamond, CEO of NAMM, Brian Rothschild (Executive Director of The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus), Fernando Pullum, Principal of the Fernando Pullum Performing Arts School and his students.
WHEN: Thursday, January 14th, 1:30pm
WHERE: NAMM Show, Wanna Play?/Lennon Bus Stage at the Arena Plaza, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA
WHY: As Yoko says,
“The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit outreach program with the mission of giving kids a chance to express themselves through music and video productions. It has been a living legacy to John’s passion for musical expression and artistic freedom. By utilizing the on-the-road John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and its fine studio set-up, thousands of students have written, recorded and produced original songs and videos – students who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to explore these avenues of creativity. At a time with music education in the schools is facing tough funding challenges, the Bus has been a rolling testament to the enduring, positive power of music making.”
The students from the Fernando Pullum Performing Arts School are a shining example of what music education can do. In an area of Los Angeles where only 30% of students graduate from high school, 100% of Fernando’s students graduate from high school, and 99% have gone on to college. To learn how to keep music in your local community, go to www.supportmusic.com, a non-profit outreach initiative of the NAMM Foundation.
About NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit organization with the mission of advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org. For more information of how to support music education programs in your local community, go to www.supportmusic.com.
About the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a non-profit state-of-the-art mobile Pro Audio and HD video recording facility that provides hands-on experiences for students of all ages. In its 12th year of touring, the venture is proud of its brand new bus and its studios, which boast the latest audio and video technology, gear and products.
The concept began as an offshoot of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, which is dedicated to providing opportunities for both professional and amateur songwriters around the world. The Bus travels across the U.S. and Canada year-round, providing free tours and workshops at schools, retailers, festivals, on tours with headlining artists, and at major industry conferences.
The Bus, a 501(c)(3) venture, is made possible through the generosity of sponsors including Apple, Maxell Corporation, NAMM, The Beatles: Rock Band, Roland, Sonicbids, GHS Strings, Disc Makers, Edirol by Roland, Avid, Mackie, Blackheart Amps, Ampeg, Boss, Digital Media Academy, Aphex Systems, Audio-Technica, Glyph Technologies, Neutrik, Music Player Network, Propellerhead, Musician’s Friend, Ableton, Sibelius, Digidesign, Apogee, Sony, Litepanels, McDSP, IK Multimedia, Native Instruments, Gretsch Drums, Bogen Imaging, Noise Industries, Applied Acoustics Systems and Harris Corporation.
The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is made possible by an agreement with Yoko Ono Lennon.
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