Growing up in the Cleaborne Homes housing community in the Memphis area, Fred Jones worked during the day and went to school at night to earn his BBA degree from then Memphis State University in 1971. He recognized that the support of his family and friends was vital to that achievement, and he wanted others to have that same support and opportunity. Having discovered a knack for putting together entertainers with large audiences in the most attractive venues, he blended that talent with his love for education and for helping the community to which he himself was grateful. From that combination, and a wealth of experience, the Southern Heritage Classic® Cultural Celebration was born.
Jones’s experience includes associations with a roster of well-known, first-class talent including Isaac Hayes, The Isley Brothers, Prince, The Commodores, Stevie Wonder, Parliament-Funkadelic, Luther Vandross, LL Cool J, Count Basie, Tyler Perry, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, The O’Jays, Usher, and hundreds more. He also assembled national blues and jazz tours for several international companies. He was also an original owner/limited partner of the Memphis Grizzlies. But Jones considers his most fulfilling business endeavor to be the Southern Heritage Classic.
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