NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Balvenie has been perfecting the craft of whisky making for nearly 130 years and, throughout that period, has remained fascinated by the creative processes, often-obsessive human attributes and deep intrinsic values that elevate something from great to exceptional. On October 28, that journey embarks on a new frontier with the arrival of Quest for Craft: Season One: a disquisitive new digital series exploring the convergence of craft and creativity, hosted by bestselling author, cultural icon and scholar of creativity Questlove. Watch the series trailer HERE.
Quest for Craft explores modern creativity between the lines through compelling creators that pour their hearts into what they do. The series, filmed in the iconic Electric Lady Studios, centers around four of the most creative minds, legendary GRAMMY Award winning music producer Jimmy Jam, SNL comedian Michael Che, punk-rock icon Patti Smith, and prolific author Malcolm Gladwell, as Questlove opens conversational passageways to their creative processes, inspirations and aspirations over four compelling episodes.
Quest for Craft is the hallmark collaboration of a multi-year partnership between The Balvenie and Questlove and an extension of The Balvenie's global campaign The Makers Project, in which the brand brings to life not just the skill but the heart of makers around the world via content series, exhibits, auctions, and experiential events. The partnership began in late 2020 and intends to unpack the uniquely human elements that elevate the great to the exceptional.
"I share a synergistic passion with The Balvenie on the importance of inspiration, passion and dedication to creativity and the making process. Our partnership is founded on an exploration into creative minds that invest their time, focus, and soul and into creating something singular and distinctive," said Questlove. "Quest for Craft is about the pursuit of ultimate craftsmanship. In each episode, I dive deep into conversation with creatives who I have admired for their unique perspective, process, and productivity."
In its opening season, Quest for Craft ventures to take the viewer on an expedition of discovery into ultimate craftsmanship by analyzing creativity in the realm of chaos, practice, community and time with the guests:
- Episode 1, Craft and Chaos with Michael Che - Questlove and Michael Che chat about how to infuse purposeful levels of chaos into their careers, how it can push you to a new level of creativity and how it can be a key factor in honing your craft.
- Episode 2, Craft and Community with Jimmy Jam - Questlove and Jimmy Jam connect on meeting their core creative partners at a young age, and chat about how instrumental their creative communities have been in helping them become the artists they are today.
- Episode 3, Craft and Time with Patti Smith - Questlove and Patti Smith delve into the topic of time as Patti reflects upon her time with Electric Lady Studios, from attending the opening party to going on to record many of her albums at the legendary studio.
- Episode 4, Craft and Practice with Malcolm Gladwell - Questlove and Malcolm Gladwell cover the topic of practice and Malcolm shares the true meaning of his 10,000 hours theory, how it's been misunderstood in the past and how getting better at your craft can involve going beyond your mastery to take on new challenges.
As Quest for Craft unpacks new creative realms through each episode, The Balvenie and Questlove are supporting emerging creative pursuits with an opportunity for an aspiring maker to begin their own quest through a pioneering scholarship program with the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. The scholarship program will give one aspiring creative mind, from anywhere in the United States, the opportunity to undertake the university's 'first-of-its-kind' PhD in Creativity.
"The PhD in Creativity program was created to remove the constraints that many higher education programs have, and allow students to fully embrace new ideas and innovation in ways they may not normally have in other fields," said Dr. Jonathan Fineberg, PhD in Creativity Program Director. "Questlove and The Balvenie share the PhD program's core ethos that reimagines how we think about craft, in its many forms, and we're thrilled to be giving a student an opportunity to explore their own creative journey with this scholarship."
The Balvenie Fellow in the PhD in Creativity will be fully-funded in the three-year program that begins in June of 2022. Apart from the intensive two week summer immersion and a return visit for a long weekend in the winter of the first year, all course work will be completed via remote learning. The winning candidate will be selected by Questlove, in partnership with The Balvenie and the University of the Arts. The scholarship program is open to anyone over the age of 21 from now through November 15th, 2021. Visit https://www.uarts.edu/academics/phd-program for more details.
Quest for Craft and The University of the Arts scholarship program marks an exciting commencement of a long-term mission for The Balvenie and Questlove to expand and showcase the beautiful convergence of craft and creativity. The first four episodes of Quest for Craft will be released throughout the fall, starting on October 28. To be notified about the launch of the series, subscribe to The Balvenie YouTube.
"The Balvenie is unique in our craft as one of the last distilleries in Scotland committed to old-school yet innovative methods, and it's the human characteristics and intrinsic values that drive our craftspeople every day to create the most exceptional Scotch whisky. It's what drove Malt Master David Stewart to first create the craft of cask finishing, and it's this commitment to tradition that is the true driving force behind the innovation, creativity and consistency of craft that continues to come from our distillery." said Greg Levine, Brand Director, The Balvenie USA. "The union between The Balvenie and Questlove is founded upon this shared passion of the creative process - be that in whisky, music, food, literature or other fields. Alongside Questlove, we intend to use our platform to champion what it means to be committed to the never-ending pursuit of craft."
About The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Balvenie is a unique range of single malts crafted by David C. Stewart MBE, The Balvenie Malt Master and the longest-standing malt master in the Scotch whisky industry. Each has a very individual taste, but each is rich, luxuriously smooth and underpinned by the distinctively honeyed character of The Balvenie. The Balvenie is dedicated to the five rare crafts that are used to create The Balvenie's distinctive taste. It is the only distillery that still grows its own barley, uses traditional floor maltings and keeps both coppersmiths and coopers on site – making The Balvenie the most handcrafted of malts. The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is produced by William Grant & Sons Ltd, an award-winning independent family-owned distiller founded by William Grant in 1886 and today run by his direct descendants.
The Balvenie core range includes The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year Old (SRP $64.99), The Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask (SRP $84.99), The Balvenie DoubleWood 17 Year Old (SRP $149.99), and The Balvenie PortWood 21 Year Old (SRP $299.99) in addition to a variety of limited release expressions. For further information, visit www.thebalvenie.com.
About William Grant & Sons
William Grant & Sons Holdings Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887. Today, the global premium spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distils some of the world's leading brands of Scotch whisky, including Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world's third largest blended Scotch, Grant's®, as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendrick's® Gin, Sailor Jerry® Spiced Rum, Tullamore D.E.W.® Irish Whiskey, Monkey Shoulder® Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and Drambuie® Scotch Liqueur.
William Grant & Sons has been honored as "Distiller of the Year" by the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition and International Spirits Challenge 13 times over the past 14 years, including the most recent award in 2020.
Founded in 1964, William Grant & Sons USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of William Grant & Sons, Ltd. and features one of the fastest growing spirits portfolios in the US with brands including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Hendrick's Gin, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey, Drambuie, Milagro Tequila, Fistful of Bourbon, Grant's, Hudson Whiskey, Gibson's Finest, Monkey Shoulder, Clan MacGregor, Reyka Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Flor de Caña Rum, The Knot and Raynal French Brandy. For more information on the company and its brands, please visit www.williamgrantusa.com.
Drummer, DJ, producer, director, culinary entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author, and member of The Roots – Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, is the unmistakable heartbeat of Philadelphia's most influential hip-hop group. He is the Musical Director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where his beloved Roots crew serves as house band. Beyond that, this 5-time GRAMMY Award winning musician's indisputable reputation has landed him musical directing positions with everyone from D'Angelo to Jay-Z. Questlove has also released multiple books including the New York Times bestsellers Mo' Meta Blues and Creative Quest, GRAMMY nominated audio book Creative Quest, Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation, James Beard Award nominated somethingtofoodabout and most recently Mixtape Potluck. His next book, Music Is History, will be released on October 19th.
Questlove and Black Thought of The Roots have Executive Produced the acclaimed documentary series, Hip-Hop: The Songs The Shook America on AMC under their production company, Two One Five Entertainment which recently announced a first-look deal with Universal Television to develop scripted and non-scripted programming. Questlove will serve as executive producer for upcoming documentary, The League, centered on the tumultuous journey of Negro league baseball. He also made his directorial debut with the acclaimed feature documentary Summer of Soul, which explores the legendary 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The film premiered on the opening night of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in January, where it was awarded the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for Best U.S. Documentary. The film most recently broke the record for the highest selling documentary to come out of Sundance when it was acquired by Searchlight/Hulu. Questlove is also set to direct the upcoming Sly Stone feature documentary.
Questlove has cemented himself as one of the most sought-after DJs in pop-culture with a resume that includes gigs for The Academy Awards, The White House, Cartier, and hotels and nightclubs around the world. After streaming nearly 300 virtual DJ sets in 2020, he has used this momentum to launch his own Twitch show called GO DJ which champions sets from renowned international peers.
Additionally, Questlove served as the Executive Music Producer and Composer on the A&E Miniseries Roots. He also scored Chris Rock's film, Top Five and co-produced the GRAMMY Award winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hamilton. Questlove also hosts his own acclaimed podcast Questlove Supreme on iHeart. Questlove co-starred in Disney Pixar's Golden Globe-winning animated feature Soul, which landed him an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance.
Quest for Craft was Executive Produced by Questlove, The Balvenie, Two One Five Entertainment, and Alexis Rosenzweig.
About University of the Arts
Established in 1876, University of the Arts in Philadelphia was formed by merging two century-old institutions: Philadelphia College of Art and Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts. After being granted university status in 1987, University of the Arts became the largest institution of its kind in the nation, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, theater and writing. It now features 30 undergraduate arts majors and 15 graduate programs. Learn more about UofArts.
SOURCE The Balvenie