Jerry ‘Wonda’ Duplessis has joined Newark Symphony Hall’s board of directors, the organization announced Thursday.
Duplessis was the bassist and producer for the Fugees, the groundbreaking hip-hop group whose lineup included Jersey-native Lauryn Hill.
The producer, who’s since collaborated with Justin Bieber, Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige, and more, will assist with the venue’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and lead its new artist advisory board.
“We cannot be happier that Jerry ‘Wonda,’ one of the foremost musicians and producers of the past three decades, has been appointed to our board,” Taneshia Nash Laird, president and CEO of Newark Symphony Hall said in a prepared statement. “He’ll advise on a comprehensive program creating live music career pathways both onstage and behind the scenes, while representing our historic venue among scores of iconic ‘alums.’”
Duplessis played an integral part in music that’s sold over 200 million records. His work has garnered 15 Grammy nominations, three of which he won, including Best Album for Santana’s “Supernatural” in 1999, which went 15x Platinum and sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide.
He’s also produced Whitney Houston, Destiny’s Child, Carlos Santana and Shakira.
“Growing up in and around Newark was the catalyst of my musicianship. I am one of the many beneficiaries of its rich history and the work of our forefathers. What resonates so deeply for me about Newark Symphony Hall – aside from its storied past – is its commitment to improving the city’s historic Lincoln Park neighborhood, and its focus on making arts and entertainment more inclusive,” said Duplessis in a prepared statement. “I’m honored to be a part of the hall’s preservation and the future development of such a great venue and city using arts as an economic driver.”
He is also currently the touring bassist for fellow Grammy winner Melissa Etheridge.
“Jerry’s accomplishments speak for themselves – earning the industry’s top prize while collaborating with some of the most successful artists of all time,” Nash Laird said. “We’ll draw upon his unmatched expertise for everything from programming, to career paths and ongoing social justice efforts. We cannot wait to begin this partnership.”