By Karen Leigh
Legendary producer teams up with Badr Jafar to target media opportunities across MENA region
Legendary producer Quincy Jones has launched a media company in a joint venture with Emirati entrepreneur Badr Jafar, Arabian Business has learned.
The Global Gumbo Group will target opportunities across film, television, publishing and digital applications in the MENA region, the pair said in a joint statement on Monday.
Jones will serve as chairman of the board and Jafar as president.
GGG will also look to discover new Middle Eastern and North African talents, and acquire content from the region to introduce to the West.
Jones, who names Michael Jackson, Billie Holiday and U2’s Bono among his musical collaborations, said the venture aimed to build bridges between the East and the West.
“I have long been a vocal proponent of music and the arts being a great asset in building bridges between cultures,” the 27-times Grammy winner said in an emailed statement.
“It is my hope that this partnership will provide a cultural exchange between the West and the Middle East and North Africa that will foster a better understanding of these regions.”
The company’s first event will be a concert during Morocco’s annual music festival in May, which will feature performances by Grammy-winning Patti Austin, Riffat Sultana and American group Naturally Seven.
Jones will also unveil a new Arabic version of the song “Tomorrow” that will raise money to finance educational scholarships for some of the region’s most promising youth.
“This partnership has been a long time in the making, and is being launched at an important time in our region of the world,” Jafar said.
GGG will “use music to build on and promote mutual respect and appreciation across borders, while giving our youth in the West and the Middle East an opportunity to showcase their talents.”
Jones’s “Tomorrow” video will be co-produced by Moroccan producer Nadir Khayat, with the Arabic lyrics and music by Iraqi artist Kadim Al Sahir.