Jamie Foxx, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of legendary musician Ray Charles in Ray and Lost actor Dominic Monaghan, helped to hand out $500,000 dollars worth of musical instruments to school students in the US this week.
Foxx dished out new violins, flutes, French horns, trumpets and drums at the event at Walt Disney Concert Hall, which was part of the Fidelity Futurestage program, an effort by the investment firm to enrich arts education in American public schools.
Speaking to Hollyscoop, Foxx said he was inspired to help out because of his own musical background. “[My career] started in classical music. I tell people that and they go ‘No, get out of here, you from In living Color’. I started playing classical piano when I was 5 years old,” he told Hollyscoop exclusively.
He credits his grandmother for helping him appreciate and love music. “My grandmother said ‘take this music because it will take you somewhere’ and I ended up going to college [with a scholarship] in San Diego International State University…I had a Russian pianist teacher and a Yugoslavian music theory teacher and it was the most incredible thing in the world. It really developed my skills, I was not the best but at that time it was a place for me to at least try to succeed and things really worked out,” added Foxx.
Foxx praised Fidelity for stepping in and helping out when public funding had failed because he knows how important it is. “I remember coming up to Hollywood and I remember taking the classical music that I knew and doing it in jokes because I did not have enough money to get my own equipment. I remember singing, Snoop Dogg songs like ‘Opera’ so I would always use that background to fuel my career.”
Foxx may be infamous for his hip-hop beats now, but he still credits his classical background for molding him into the musician he’s become today. “It’s a great place to start because it teaches you discipline and it’s amazing what classical music is. You have to think, classical music has you talking about a hit, Mozart, Beethoven we play their music for years and it’s still incredible when you hear those classics it’s amazing,” he told Hollyscoop.
For more info on how you can help or get involved with the Fidelity Futurestage, check out their official website at www.futurestage.com. Kudos to Jamie for helping make a difference in children's lives!