For other people named Quincy Jones, see Quincy Jones (disambiguation).
|Born||Quincy Delight Jones Jr.
(1933-03-14) March 14, 1933 (age 87)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
(m. 1957; div. 1966)
(m. 1967; div. 1974)
(m. 1974; div. 1989)
|Partner(s)||Nastassja Kinski (1992–1995)|
|Children||7 (including Quincy, Kidada, Rashida, and Kenya)|
|Relatives||Richard A. Jones (half-brother)|
|Awards||List of awards and nominations|
Quincy Delight Jones Jr. (born March 14, 1933) is an American record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger, and film and television producer.
Jones came to prominence in the 1950s as a jazz arranger and conductor, before moving on to work in pop music and film scores.
In 1971, he became the first African-American to be the musical director and conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony.
In 1995, he was the first African-American to receive the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Jones was the producer, with Michael Jackson, of Jackson's albums Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), and Bad (1987), as well as the producer and conductor of the 1985 charity song "We Are the World", which raised funds for victims of famine in Ethiopia.
He was named one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century by Time.
Quincy Delight Jones Jr. was born on the South Side of Chicago on March 14, 1933, the son of Sarah Frances (née Wells), a bank officer and apartment complex manager, and Quincy Delight Jones Sr., a semi-professional baseball player and carpenter from Kentucky.
Jones' paternal grandmother was an ex-slave in Louisville, and Jones would later discover that his paternal grandfather was Welsh.
Jones said, "He had a baby with my great-grandmother [a slave], and my grandmother was born there [on a plantation in Kentucky].
Learning that the Lanier immigrant ancestors were French Huguenots who had court musicians among their ancestors, Jones attributed some of his musicianship to them.
His DNA revealed he is mostly African but is also 34% European in ancestry, on both sides of his family.
Research showed that he has English, French, Italian, and Welsh ancestry through his father.
Jones' family moved to Chicago as part of the Great Migration.
Jones was introduced to music by his mother, who always sang religious songs, and by his next-door neighbor, Lucy Jackson.
When Jones was five or six, Jackson played stride piano next door, and he would listen through the walls.
Lucy recalled that after he heard her one day, she could not get him off her piano.
When Jones was young, his mother suffered from a schizophrenic breakdown and was admitted to a mental institution.
His father divorced his mother and married Elvera Jones, who already had three children of her own named Waymond, Theresa, and Katherine.
Elvera and Quincy Sr. later had three children together: Jeanette, Margie, and future U.S. District Judge Richard.
After the war, the family moved to Seattle, where Jones attended Garfield High School.
In high school, he developed his skills as a trumpeter and arranger.
His classmates included Charles Taylor, who played saxophone and whose mother, Evelyn Bundy, was one of Seattle's first society jazz band leaders.
Jones and Taylor began playing music together, and at the age of 14 they played with a National Reserve band.
Jones has said he got much more experience with music growing up in a smaller city because he otherwise would have faced too much competition.
At age 14, Jones introduced himself to 16-year-old Ray Charles after watching him play at the Black Elks Club.
Jones cites Charles as an early inspiration for his own music career, noting that Charles overcame a disability (blindness) to achieve his musical goals.
He has credited his father's sturdy work ethic with giving him the means to proceed and his loving strength with holding the family together.
Jones has said his father had a rhyming motto: "Once a task is just begun, never leave until it's done.
Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all."
While studying at Berklee, he played at Izzy Ort's Bar & Grille with Bunny Campbell and Preston Sandiford, whom he cited as important musical influences.
He left his studies after receiving an offer to tour as a trumpeter, arranger, and pianist with the bandleader Lionel Hampton and embarked on his professional career.
On the road with Hampton, he displayed a gift for arranging songs.
He moved to New York City, where he received freelance commissions writing arrangements for Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, and Ray Charles, who was by then a close friend.
In 1953, at the age of 20, Jones traveled with jazz bandleader Lionel Hampton for a European tour of the Hampton orchestra.
He said the tour altered his view of racism in the United States:
On January 28, February 4, 11 and 18, as well as on March 17 and 24, Jones played second trumpet in the studio band that supported 21-year-old Elvis Presley in his first six television appearances.
Presley sang "Heartbreak Hotel", which became his first No.
1 record and the Billboard magazine Pop Record of the year.
After returning, he signed a contract with ABC-Paramount and started his recording career as the leader of his band.
During the 1950s Jones toured Europe with a number of jazz orchestras.
As musical director of Harold Arlen's jazz musical Free and Easy, he took to the road again.
A European tour closed in Paris in February 1960.
With musicians from the Arlen show, he formed his big band "The Jones Boys" with eighteen musicians.
The band toured North America and Europe and the concerts met enthusiastic audiences and sparkling reviews, but the earnings failed to support a band of this size.
Poor budget planning resulted in an economic disaster; the band dissolved, leaving Jones in a financial crisis.
"We had the best jazz band on the planet, and yet we were literally starving.
That's when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business.
If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two."
Irving Green, head of Mercury, helped Jones with a personal loan and a job as musical director of the company's New York division.
Breakthrough and rise
In 1961 Jones was promoted to vice-president of Mercury, becoming the first African American to hold the position.
It was the first of his nearly 40 major motion picture scores.
Following the success of The Pawnbroker, Jones left Mercury and moved to Los Angeles.
His film credits over the next seven years included Walk, Don't Run, The Deadly Affair, In Cold Blood, In the Heat of the Night, Mackenna's Gold, The Italian Job, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Cactus Flower, The Out-Of-Towners, They Call Me Mister Tibbs! , The Anderson Tapes, $ (Dollars), and The Getaway.
In addition, he composed "The Streetbeater", which became the theme music for the television sitcom Sanford and Son, starring his close friend Redd Foxx, and the themes for other TV shows, including Ironside, Rebop, Banacek, The Bill Cosby Show, the opening episode of Roots, Mad TV and the game show Now You See It.
8; US No.
1), its sequel "Judy's Turn to Cry" (US No.
5), "She's a Fool" (also a US No.
5) in 1963, and "You Don't Own Me" (US No.
2 for four weeks in 1964).
27 in 1965) and "Maybe I Know" (UK No.
20; US No.
14 in 1964).
In 1975 he founded Qwest Productions for which he arranged and produced successful albums by Frank Sinatra and others.
In 1982, he produced Jackson's, Thriller, the bestselling album in the history of the music industry.
Marking Jones's debut as a film producer, The Color Purple received 11 Oscar nominations that year.
After the 1985 American Music Awards ceremony, Jones used his influence to draw most of the major American recording artists of the day into a studio to record the song "We Are the World" to raise money for the victims of famine in Ethiopia.
When people marveled at his ability to make the collaboration work, Jones explained that he had taped a sign on the entrance reading, "Check Your Ego at the Door".
He was also quoted as saying, "We don't want to make a hunger record in tuxedos", requiring all participants to wear casual clothing in the studio.
In 1990 Quincy Jones Productions joined with Time Warner to create Quincy Jones Entertainment.
The company signed a 10-picture deal with Warner Bros. and a two-series deal with NBC Productions (now Universal Television).
Jones produced the successful The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (discovering Will Smith), UPN's In the House, First-Run Syndication's The Jenny Jones Show (in association with Telepictures Productions, 1994–1997 only) and FOX's Madtv – which ran for 14 seasons.
In the early 1990s he started a huge, ongoing project called "The Evolution of Black Music".
QJE started a weekly talk show with Jones's friend the Reverend Jesse Jackson as the host.
Davis had always refused, citing a desire to avoid revisiting the past.
But in 1991 Davis relented.
Despite having pneumonia, he agreed to perform the music at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
The recording, Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux, was his last album; he died several months afterward.
In 1993 Jones collaborated with David Salzman to produce the concert An American Reunion, a celebration of Bill Clinton's inauguration as president of the United States.
During the same year, he and Salzman renamed his company Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment.
In 2001 Jones published his autobiography, Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones.
On July 31, 2007, he partnered with Wizzard Media to start the Quincy Jones Video Podcast.
In each episode, he shares his knowledge and experience in the music industry.
The first episode features him in the studio producing "I Knew I Loved You" for Celine Dion.
Jones helped produce Anita Hall's 2009 album Send Love.
In 2013 he produced Emily Bear's album Diversity.
He also became a mentor of Jacob Collier.
In 2017 Jones and French producer Reza Ackbaraly started Qwest TV, the world's first subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service for jazz and eclectic music from around the world.
The platform features a handpicked selection of ad-free concerts, interviews, documentaries, and exclusive, original content, all in HD or 4K.
In 2010, Jones, along with brand strategist Chris Vance, co-founded Playground Sessions, a NY City-based developer of subscription software that teaches people to play the piano using interactive videos.
Pianists Harry Connick Jr. and David Sides are among the company's video instructors.
Jones worked with Vance and Sides to develop the video lessons and incorporate techniques to modernize the instruction format.
Work with Michael Jackson
Jones offered some names but eventually offered to produce the record himself.
Jackson accepted and the resulting record, Off the Wall, sold about 20 million copies.
This made Jones the most powerful record producer in the industry at that time.
Jones and Jackson's next collaboration, Thriller, sold 65 million copies and became the highest-selling album of all time.
The rise of MTV and the advent of music videos as promotional tools also contributed to Thriller's sales.
Jones worked on Jackson's album Bad, which has sold 45 million copies.
Bad was the last time the two men worked together in the studio.
Audio interviews with Jones are included in the 2001 special editions of Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad.
In a 2002 interview, when asked if he would work with Jones again, Jackson suggested he might.
But in 2007, when Jones was asked by NME, he said, "Man, please!
We already did that.
I have talked to him about working with him again but I've got too much to do.
I've got 900 products, I'm 74 years old."
Following Jackson's death on June 25, 2009, Jones said:
Jones said that MJJ Productions, a song company managed by Jackson's estate and Sony Music Entertainment, improperly re-edited songs to deprive him of royalties and production fees and breached an agreement giving him the right to remix master recordings for albums released after Jackson's death.
The songs Jones produced for Jackson were used in the film This Is It.
Jones was reported to be filing the suits against Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil productions and the 25th-anniversary edition of the Bad album.
He believed he should have received a producer credit in the film.
Work with Frank Sinatra
Jones conducted and arranged the singer's live album with the Basie Band, Sinatra at the Sands (1966).
Jones was also the arranger/conductor when Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Johnny Carson performed with the Basie orchestra in June 1965 in St. Louis, Missouri, in a benefit for Dismas House.
The fund-raiser was broadcast to movie theaters around the country and eventually released on VHS.
Later that year, Jones was the arranger/conductor when Sinatra and Basie appeared on The Hollywood Palace TV show on October 16, 1965.
Nineteen years later, Sinatra and Jones teamed up for 1984's L.A. . Is My Lady
The Brazilian Simone, whom Jones cites as "one of the world's greatest singers"; Brazilian musicians Ivan Lins and Milton Nascimento; and percussionist Paulinho da Costa, who Jones called "one of the best in the business", have become close friends and partners in his recent works.
Jones was a guest actor on an episode of The Boondocks.
Jones hosted an episode of the long-running NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live on February 10, 1990 (during SNL's 15th season).
The episode was notable for having 10 musical guests (the most any SNL episode has had in its 40 plus years on the air): Tevin Campbell, Andrae Crouch, Sandra Crouch, rappers Kool Moe Dee and Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel, Quincy D III, Siedah Garrett, Al Jarreau, and Take 6, and for a performance of Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca" by The SNL Band (conducted by Quincy Jones).
Jones impersonated Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, DC, in the recurring sketch The Bob Waltman Special.
He later produced his own sketch comedy show, FOX's MADtv, which ran from 1995 to 2009.
On January 6, 2009, he appeared on NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly to discuss his career.
Daly noted that only the US and Germany, among leading world countries, did not have a cabinet-level position for this role.
In February 2014 Jones appeared in Keep on Keepin' On, a documentary about his friend, Clark Terry, the jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn player.
In the film, Terry introduces Jones to his protege, Justin Kauflin, whom Jones then signs to his band and label.
In July 2014, Jones starred in a documentary film, The Distortion of Sound.
In September 2015, he was a guest on Dr. 's The Pharmacy on Beats 1 Radio. Dre
On February 28, 2016, he and Pharell Williams presented Ennio Morricone with the Oscar for best film score.
and in August 2016, he and his music were featured at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, l London.
Jones's social activism began in the 1960s with his support of Martin Luther King Jr. Jones is one of the founders of the Institute for Black American Music (IBAM), whose events aim to raise enough funds for the creation of a national library of African-American art and music.
Jones is also one of the founders of the Black Arts Festival in his hometown of Chicago.
In the 1970s Jones formed The Quincy Jones Workshops.
Meeting at the Los Angeles Landmark Variety Arts Center, the workshops educated and honed the skills of inner-city youth in musicianship, acting, and songwriting.
Among its alumni were Alton McClain who had a hit song with Alton McClain and Destiny, and Mark Wilkins, who co-wrote the hit song "Havin' a Love Attack" with Mandrill and became National Promotion Director for Mystic Records.
For many years, Jones has worked closely with Bono of U2 on a number of philanthropic endeavors.
He is the founder of the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation, a nonprofit organization that built more than 100 homes in South Africa and which aims to connect youths with technology, education, culture, and music.
One of the organization's programs is an intercultural exchange between underprivileged youths from Los Angeles and South Africa.
In 2004 Jones helped launch the We Are the Future (WAF) project, which gives children in poor and conflict-ridden areas a chance to live their childhoods and develop a sense of hope.
The program is the result of a strategic partnership between the Global Forum, the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation, and Hani Masri, with the support of the World Bank, UN agencies and major companies.
The project was launched with a concert in Rome, Italy, in front of an audience of half a million people.
He serves on the Advisory Board of HealthCorps.
On July 26, 2007, he announced his endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.
But with the election of Barack Obama, Quincy Jones said that his next conversation "with President Obama [will be] to beg for a secretary of arts."
This prompted the circulation of a petition on the internet asking Obama to create such a Cabinet-level position in his administration.
In 2001, Jones became an honorary member of the board of directors of the Jazz Foundation of America.
He has worked with the foundation to save the homes and lives of America's elderly jazz and blues musicians, including those who survived Hurricane Katrina.
They were inspired by Sie's granddaughter, Sophia, who has Down syndrome.
Jones never learned to drive, citing his involvement in a car crash at age 14 as the reason.
He is a believer in astrology.
In regard to religion, he stated in February 2018 that he believes in a god that opposes the love of money but dismisses the notion of an afterlife; he holds a negative opinion of the Catholic Church, believing it is built upon the notions of money and "fear, smoke, and murder".
Jones claimed to have knowledge of the truth of the Kennedy assassination, stating his belief that mobster Sam Giancana was responsible, as well as outing sexual relationships Marlon Brando had with James Baldwin, Richard Pryor, and Marvin Gaye.
He later apologized for the interview after a family intervention with his six daughters, blaming the things he said on "word vomit".
In 1974 Jones suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm, leading to a decision to reduce his workload to spend time with his friends and family.
Since his family and friends believed Jones' life was coming to an end, they started to plan a memorial service for him.
He attended his own service with his neurologist by his side, in case the excitement overwhelmed him.
Marriages and children
Jones has been married three times and has seven children with five different women.
He was married to Jeri Caldwell from 1957 to 1966, and they had one daughter named Jolie.
He had a brief affair with Carol Reynolds, and they had a daughter named Rachel.
The day after his divorce from Andersson, Jones married American actress Peggy Lipton.
Jones and Lipton divorced in 1989.
Rashida's sister Kidada developed a romantic relationship with Shakur and had been living with the rapper for four months at the time of his death.
Awards and honors
Further information: List of awards and nominations received by Quincy Jones
- Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music (1983)
- Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement presented by Awards Council member Ray Charles in 1984.
- Grammy Legend Award in 1992 (one of only 15 people ever to receive it).
- Second in the list of all-time Grammy award wins.
- Garfield High School in Seattle named a performing arts center after him.
- Quincy Jones Elementary School located in South Central Los Angeles is named after him.
- Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards in 2008.
- John F. Kennedy Center Honors in 2001.
- National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama on March 2, 2011.
- Los Angeles Press Club Visionary Award in 2014.
- Honorary doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music, London, in 2015.
- Ahmet Ertegun Award into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Film scores and soundtracks
- Fantasia 2000 (1999) – Himself (segment "Rhapsody in Blue")
- Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) – Himself
- Sandy Wexler (2017) – Himself
- Quincy (2018) – Himself
Main article: Quincy Jones production discography
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy Jones.