Jones, Quincy

Jones, Quincy

(Quincy Delight Jones, Jr.), 1933–, African-American musician, composer, bandleader, and music executive, b. Chicago. Jones played trumpet and sang gospel growing up, and studied briefly at Boston's Berklee College of Music (then called Schillinger House). After 1951 he played with Lionel HamptonHampton, Lionel,
1908?–2002, African-American vibraphonist and bandleader, b. Louisville, Ky. When his family moved to Chicago c.1916, the young Hampton began playing drums in a newsboys' band.
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 and Dizzy GillespieGillespie, Dizzy
(John Birks Gillespie) , 1917–93, American jazz musician and composer, b. Cheraw, S.C. He began to play the trumpet at 15 and later studied harmony and theory at Laurinburg Institute, N.C. He played with the bands of Cab Calloway and Billy Eckstine.
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 and was also an arranger for such jazz greats as Duke EllingtonEllington, Duke
(Edward Kennedy Ellington), 1899–1974, American jazz musician and composer, b. Washington, D.C. Ellington made his first professional appearance as a jazz pianist in 1916.
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, Tommy DorseyDorsey, Thomas Andrew
, 1899–1993, American gospel musician, b. Villa Rica, Ga. He began his career as a blues pianist and songwriter. Later he became a church choir director in Chicago and was a co-founder of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses.
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, Count BasieBasie, Count
(William Basie) , 1904–84, American jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer, b. Red Bank, N.J. After working in dance halls and vaudeville in New York City, Basie moved to Kansas City, a major jazz center.
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, and his childhood friend Ray CharlesCharles, Ray
(Ray Charles Robinson), 1930–2004, African-American musician and composer, b. Albany, Ga. Blinded at age seven, he was raised in Florida and at 16 began singing in a local hillbilly group. Two years later he moved to Seattle, where he formed his own trio.
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. Jones traveled to Paris in 1957, where he studied composition with Nadia BoulangerBoulanger, Nadia
, 1887–1979, French conductor and musician, b. Paris. Boulanger was considered an outstanding teacher of composition. She studied at the Paris Conservatory, where in 1945 she became professor.
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 and Olivier MessiaenMessiaen, Olivier
, 1908–92, French composer and organist, b. Avignon. Messiaen was a pupil of Paul Dukas at the Paris Conservatory. He became organist of La Trinité, Paris, in 1931 and taught at the Schola Cantorum and the École Normale de Musique
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, became music director for Mercury Records' French division, and briefly (1960–61) led a big band.

Returning to New York in the early 1960s, Jones became a vice president at Mercury, breaking the executive color barrier there. He also began to compose for films and television, including scores for The Pawnbroker (1965), In Cold Blood (1967), and The Wiz (1978). He coproduced the film The Color Purple (1985) and was responsible for several TV sitcoms. From 1979 to 1987 he produced Michael JacksonJackson, Michael Joseph,
1958–2009, American performer, b. Gary, Ind. Jackson was an extremely successful pop singer, superb dancer, and talented composer who often conveyed an androgynous image and ambiguous sexuality.
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's chartbuster albums, catapulting the singer to superstardom. Jones also founded (1980) a record company, established (1990) Vibe magazine, and formed (1991) Qwest Broacasting.


See his autobiography (2001).

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Jones, Quincy (Delight, Jr.)

(1933–  ) composer, record producer; born in Chicago. A multifaceted jazz and pop figure, he began with his Seattle teenage friend Ray Charles, who interested him in arranging. He played trumpet and arranged for Lionel Hampton between 1951—53, then worked as a free-lance arranger on numerouous jazz sessions. He served as musical director for Dizzy Gillespie's overseas big band tour in 1956, worked for Barclay Records in Paris from 1957–58, and led an all-star big band for the European production of Harold Arlen's blues opera, Free and Easy (1959). Returning to New York, he composed and arranged for Count Basie, Dinah Washington, and Sarah Vaughan while holding an executive post at Mercury Records and producing his own increasingly pop-oriented records. In the mid-1960s he began composing for films and television, eventually producing over 50 scores and serving as a trailblazing African-American musician in the Hollywood arena. In 1975 he founded Qwest Productions, for which he arranged and produced hugely successful albums by Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, and other pop figures.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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A New York native, who now resides in Miami, F.L., BurningBush is influenced by the styles of Prince, Tom Jones, Quincy Jones and the legendary Stevie Wonder.
Quincy Jones, Quincy Troupe, Ron Carter, Alex Haley's Playboy interview with Davis...all here.