Born in the soulful streets of Chicago, Illinois, Quincy Jones has climbed up the ladder of the music industry as a musician, composer, arranger and music studio producer. His work is acclaimed by music lovers of many generations and his talent has created musical brilliance in many varied styles and genres. From his work with Celine Dion, Sinatra, Michael Jackson and many important jazz figures, Jones has established himself as being a true pioneer in the music industry and an influential figure in jazz and pop music for generations to come.
Quincy Jones was born Quincy Delightt Jones Jr in early March 1933 on the southside of Chicago. His family moved to Seattle when Quincy was only 10. At school, the young Quincy developed a musical interest early on, trying out many different instruments in the school band. He then settled to trumpet; learning how to play and practicing for hours, he then met a pianist named Ray Charles and started a duo with him. The two talented young musicians quickly landed a series of gigs in the city’s small clubs, at weddings and other events. Quincy Jones then left Seattle to live in Boston and attend the Berklee College of Music.
Once in Boston, Jones dropped out of Berklee to tour under Lionel Hampton’s baton. After this tour, Jones directed himself to New York City, where he became a highly sought-after arranger; jazz royalties Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderley, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Sarah Vaughan and Ray Charles all hired Jones for his arranging services. In the 1950’s, Jones was hired as trumpeter and musical director of the Dizzy Gillespie Band and returned from the tour to record his very own material with ABC – Paramount Records. It was in 1957 that Quincy Jones studied composition with no other than Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen; he also had the opportunity to perform at the Paris Olympia and was named music director of Barclay Disques, a distributor for Mercury Records.
It was after all of these successful ventures that Quincy Jones moved on to the world of production. His credits in production started with Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad albums. Jones is also credited as producer for Celine Dion, Anita Hall and many other recognized names of the business. An established music studio producer, Jones has been active since the 1950’s and still continues to make his mark in the music industry to this day.