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France conservatory renamed after Chicago native Quincy Jones

World-famous trumpeter/arranger/composer/producer Quincy Jones was recently given a new eponym—The Quincy Jones Conservatory – formerly the Conservatoire de la Communauté urbaine Grand Paris Seine & Oise, located in Mantes-la-Jolie in France.

Jones, who has worked with numerous entertainment greats, including Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and more, has a close connection with the region and considers France as his second home.

One of the world’s most influential composition teachers, Nadia Boulanger, was also celebrated at the event when the Conservatory’s auditorium was named in her honor. Pierre Bédier, President of the Yvelines Departmental Council; Cécile Zammit-Popescu, President of GPS&O and Raphaël Cognet, Mayor of Mantes-la-Jolie, participated in the celebration of the only conservatory in the world to bear Jones’ name.

The organist/singer Rhoda Scott, who was a student of Jones, as well as students and teachers from the Conservatory, paid tribute to the musical geniuses, Jones and Boulanger.

It was an event for Grand Paris Seine & Oise, but the global star approached the honor with humility and gratitude. In a letter to Jean-Pierre Vignola, Jazz Festival Producer, Jones wrote, “It makes my soul smile to know there is a school of music named ‘Quincy Jones’ in France, my second country! I was fortunate to be on the shoulders of the greats; it is an honor to be able to contribute in the legacy of music education. My memories of France are intimately tied to my beloved Nadia Boulanger, and I cannot express how flattered I am to be her neighbor with a school named after me. Merci mille fois from the bottom of my heart!”

Over the past 70 years, Jones has become a living legend. His music is among the most sampled by today’s greatest hip hop artists. From bebop to bossa nova, soul to hip hop, futuristic big bands to funk soundtracks, he has left his mark on most of the mutations in modern music. He owes much of his success to Boulanger.

Quincy released a ten-volume album ‘Milestones of a Legend’ in January 2022. It contains 200 of his jazz recordings from the 1950s and 1960s. It was reported that Jones, 90, recently had a bad reaction to food, symptoms of which he fully recovered.

Described as “the most influential teacher since Socrates,” Boulanger counted among her pupils George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Astor Piazzolla and Philip Glass, in addition to Jones.

Boulanger was the first woman to conduct the Boston and New York Philharmonic orchestras, and she was the first conductor to lead Gabriel Faure’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall in 1962.

Given all of their achievements and accolades bestowed upon these two icons of music, it is no doubt an excellent decision to present The Quincy Jones Conservatory and Boulanger Auditorium to the world.

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Chicago’s Ross Mac to play The Den Theatre

Maconomics creator appears Sunday, July 9, on the Heath Mainstage

Ross Mac

The Den Theatre welcomes Chicago native Ross Mac, who brings his Maconomics program to the Heath Mainstage for one show on Sunday, July 9, at 7 p.m., 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets ($20 – $50) are now on sale at or by calling (773) 697-3830.

Mac is an Ivy-league (Wharton School of Business) educated Chicago native dedicated to increasing access to financial education and literacy. Mac began his career in New York City working at Morgan Stanley on the highly coveted sales and trading desk. He was there for three years before moving back to his hometown to work at Grosvenor Capital, a global $60 billion alternative asset manager.

Moving back to Chicago helped Mac get back in touch with his community and led him down a path of service. In an attempt to change the narrative and mindset of inner-city youth, he began a digital series called Maconomics. Maconomics empowers Mac’s audience through merging education and entertainment to give them a fundamental understanding of how the world of money works from an urban perspective. The void he is filling is giving plain advice to people who may not have access to the traditional avenues to receive this necessary information.

Today, Maconomics has morphed into a production company that is successfully bringing Wall Street to Main Street. Mac helps educate the world by having daily financial conversations with his daughter in the mornings taking her to daycare. He has content partnership deals with Revolt TV, BET and The Street. He also produces educational content for FinTech companies such as SoFi. Mac is a highly respected name in the financial literacy space that has yielded him coverage and appearances on Forbes, Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance, and Black Enterprise. Additionally, he was just named McDonald’s 2022 Gamechanger.

Most recently, he transitioned to the big screen and is starring in the top-rated Netflix documentary “Get Smart With Money.” In the film, Mac helps a young NFL player transform his spending habits and introduces him to a life of investing.

Performance schedule: Sunday, July 9, at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $25 regular seating ($20 obstructed view); $50 front row VIP table seating with meet and greet; $35 VIP table seating; $28 mezzanine table seating. All ticket prices include cocktail service with a two-drink minimum.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader. She is a National Newspaper Publishers Association ‘Entertainment Writing’ award winner, contributor to “Rust Belt Chicago” and the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood: South Side of Chicago.” For info, Old School Adventures from Englewood—South Side of Chicago (

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