Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones is a musician, arranger, composer and record producer of American origin, whose musical career stood out, since its beginnings, for the perfect mixture of themes and rhythms.

As a musician he was specifically dedicated to rhythm and blues, but in the rest of his facets he has managed to play so many different styles of music that it would be very difficult to name them all, from jazz to rap!

And the fact is that, nowadays, very few people in the world can be so recognized by a single lyric. Quincy Jones has been catalogued as one of the most important and powerful producers of the 20th century. He was a close friend of Martin Luther King and producer of none other than Michael Jackson.


Quincy Jones was born on March 14, 1933, in the city of Chicago, Illinois. Shortly after the birth of his younger brother, Lloyd, his parents divorced, which resulted in both sons being raised alone by their father, a carpenter, and his new wife. She already had three children of her own and had three more with Quincy Jones' father. For her part, her biological mother, Sarah Jones, was continually in and out of psychiatric hospitals as a result of her schizophrenia. For this reason, it was not until his adulthood that Quincy was able to enjoy a closer relationship with her.  

At the age of 10, Quincy Jones moved with his family to Bremerton, a suburb of Seattle, Washington. It was there that he began teaching trumpet lessons at school and where, after three years, he met Ray Charles, a musician who was only fifteen years old. The two decided to form a band and play at weddings, events and local clubs. Before long, Quincy Jones was composing and arranging the band's music.

During this time, he even arranged and played trumpet for Lionel Hampton. Subsequently, he began working as a freelance arranger on many jazz sessions and as musical director on Dizzy Gillespie's 1956 international tour for Barclay Records in Paris.

When he returned to New York, Quincy composed and arranged for Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington. All this while holding an executive position at Mercury Records and while producing his own increasingly pop-oriented records.

By 1960, he began composing music for films and television programs, producing more than 50 scores and positioning himself as the pioneering African-American musician in the Hollywood area.

In 1975, he founded Qwest Productions, where he arranged and produced hit albums for Frank Sinatra and many other pop greats. In 1978, he managed the production of the soundtrack for the musical adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz", starring music greats such as Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. It was in 1982, when Jones produced the best-selling album of all time, "Thriller".

Jones has been married three times: to Jeri Caldwell from 1957 to 1966 (in which relationship they had a daughter); to Ulla Andersson from 1967 to 1974 (which produced a son and a daughter); and to Peggy Lipton from 1974 to 1990 (with whom he had two daughters). In addition, he also has two daughters from previous relationships.


Since 1975, with the creation of Qwest Productions, Jones' influence in music did not stop growing, being one of the most recognized producers worldwide for working with artists of the scale of Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross.

Thanks to his influence among major U.S. artists, in 1985 he even recorded the anthem "We Are The World" to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia.

There is no denying the influence Quincy Jones has had on music as well as social causes. Without a doubt, he has been truly amazing!


The list of jazz, pop and many other genres of world scale artists Quincy Jones has worked with is truly impressive and it would be almost impossible to name them all, but among them are: Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Ringo Starr, Sarah Vaughan, The Johnson Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington, Chaka Khan, Rufus Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Patti Austin, Tamia, Tevin Campbell, Lesley Gore and James Ingram, among many others.


Quincy Jones' discography is full of musical gems and we cannot fail to highlight the following albums:

1962: Big Band Bossa Nova

1970: Gula Matari

1970: Walking in Space

1971: Smackwater Jack

1973: You've Got It Bad, Girl

1974: Body Heat

1975: Mellow Madness

1976: I Heard That!

1977: Roots

1978: Sounds… And Stuff Like That!!

1981: The Dude

1984: The Birth of a Band, Vol. 1

1989: Back on the Block

1995: Q's Jook Joint

1999: Reel Quincy Jones

2000: Basie and Beyond

2004: Original Jam Sessions 1969

2011: Soul Bossa Nostra


There are many songs that Quincy Jones managed to compose, but among the most famous became this one: Michael Jackson - “Rock with you” – From album “Off the Wall” (1979), Michael Jackson - “Thriller” – From album “Thriller” (1982), Michael Jackson - “Smooth Criminal” – From album “Bad” (1987), Donna Summer - “State of Independance” – From album “Donna Summer” (1982), Michael Jackson - “Billie Jean” – From album “Thriller” (1982), “We Are The World: USA For África” (1985), George Benson - “Give me the night” – From album “Give me the night” (1980), Diana Ross / Michael Jackson - “Easy down on the road” – From the soundtrack of “The Wiz” (1978), Frank Sinatra / Count Basie - “Fly me to the moon” – From album “Sinatra at the Sands” (1966), B. B. King - “For the love of Ivy” – From the movie “For the love of Ivy” (1968), Ray Charles - “In the heat of the night” – From the movie “In the heat of the night” (1967), Frank Sinatra - “Mack the Knife” – From album “L.A. is my Lady” (1984), Sarah Vaughan - “The Midnight sun” – From album “Sarah sings soulfully” (1963), Miles Davis - “Summer Time” – From album” Miles and Quincy Live at Montreaux” (1991) y Lesley Gore - “It's my party” – From album “I´ll cry if I want to” (1963).

Do you want to get all the hits by Quincy Jones? At Jazz Images we have the best music from the best artists.

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