05/14/2004 AT 2:25 PM ET
This Sunday in Rome, music giant Quincy Jones will present “We Are the Future,” a free-to-the public charity concert intended to bring attention on the plight of children in such distressed and war-torn areas as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Rwanda and the West Bank.
Among those expected, as both presenters and performers, are Angelina Jolie, Naomi Campbell, Chris Tucker, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Andrea Bocelli, the cast of Cirque du Soleil, Eve, Josh Groban, Norah Jones and Alicia Keys, PEOPLE reports.
Money will be raised by the broadcast rights to the event and the sale of other rights, and that proceeds will go toward creating and providing centers for children offering medical care and other humanitarian services, as well as training grounds in the arts and sports.
“Rome was chosen as the venue,” Jones, 71, tells PEOPLE, “because Rome is a city that has over the millennia gone through much turmoil and yet has come out victorious.”
The concert (which follows in the tradition of “We Are the World,” the 1985 recording Jones produced to help raise money for Ethiopian famine victims), will be held at the ancient Roman chariot track Circus Maximus.
It will air live on MTV in Italy, and a shorter version will be broadcast at later dates in other MTV markets. A new song, “We Are the Future” – written by Jones’s son and grandson – will be recorded live during the concert.
As Jones also explained: “This project will never end. Hopefully it will outlive the grandchildren of my grandchildren, and this is why everybody is excited.” He said that every day another star calls him and asks to participate.
“It’s incredible,” he says. “From Rome to Los Angeles people involved in it are smitten. It is snowballing. It’s the passion that keeps you going. If I were doing it for the money, I’d be out of here. The passion is just like from heaven.”