Mrs. Wilson's 8th Grade General Music Introducing Quincy Jones
Life Growing Up • Quincy Delight Jones Jr. was born March 14, 1933 on the South side of Chicago. His father, Quincy Jones Sr., was a hard working, master carpenter. His mother, Sarah Jones, was a very educated woman who managed an apartment complex in their town. Quincy also had a younger brother, Lloyd Jones, of whom he was very protective.
Life on the South side of Chicago was all about survival for Quincy and his family. The neighborhood where he lived was full of gangs and violence. In fact, because of all the murders and fighting that took place, Quincy’s side of town was know as “the Bucket of Blood”.
When Quincy was about 7 years old, his mother was admitted into a mental institution. Finding it hard to take care of two small boys alone, Quincy’s father took the boys to live with his mother, Susan Jones, an ex-slave who lived in Louisville. After about a year, Quincy’s father returned for them and together they went back to Chicago. After being in Chicago for only a short time, Quincy’s father took the boys and rushed off to Bremerton, Washington where they remained. When their father left for work everyday, the boys were left to fend for themselves. Some days, a bag cough drops was the only thing they had to eat; and they made the most of it.
Why Music? • One day, Quincy and a group of other kids broke into a rec center where there was stored food. Quincy spotted a piano and began to tinker on it. It was at that moment that Quincy found peace. At age 11, music became Quincy’s therapy for all the things that had gone wrong in is short lifetime. Through music, Quincy learned how to channel his anger, his hurt, his fears.
Once Q realized music was his true love, he did everything he could to learn it. • Q joined the school choir and the band. He played every instrument until he found the one he liked the most…the trumpet. • Q didn’t stop at just learning how to play an instrument. He soon began to write and arrange music as well.
Who Taught Q? • Ray Charles • Bumps Blackwell • Nadia Boulanger • Clark Terry • Eddie Lewis • Frank Waldron • Count Basie
Q received trumpet lessons from Clark Terry, a member of the Count Basie band. • Ray Charles and Q met when they were teenagers. Ray was 16, Q was 14. At the age of 16 Ray Charles had his own apartment and took care of himself. Q would often visit and learn all he could from him. • Nadia Boulanger was one of many influences in Q’s life. She was the 1st woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic. Great composers such as Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, and Maurice Ravel have studied with her- just to name a few. In order to become a student of Nadia’s one had to audition. Gershwin auditioned for her but she turned him down because she felt he’d already perfected his style. Q studied under Nadia and she later referred to Q and Stravinsky as two of the most influential musicians she’d ever known.
Count Basie was also a major influence in Q’s life. • Count Basie Q’s mentor since he was about 12 years old. To Q, Count Basie was a father, a brother, a manager…family.
Q, The Working Musician • At age 15, Q was already playing for Billie Holiday. • At age 18 he won a scholarship to the Schillinger House which is now known as Berklee School of Music. • Q suddenly dropped out of school when he got an offer to tour with the Lionel Hampton Band. • By age 23 he was a trumpeter and a music director in the Dizzie Gillespie band.
He not only performed with various bands, he also wrote charts for people such as Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, and Dinah Washington just to name a few.
Q, The Composer,Conductor,Producer • In 1964, Q became the first African American vice president of Mercury Records. • Q composed 33 major motion picture scores including ‘The Pawnbroker’ and ‘The Slender Thread’ starring Sydney Portier. • He wrote the theme music for ‘Sanford and Son’ , “ The Cosby Show”, and the Fresh Prince of Belaire. • He also composed the music for “Kill Bill” and “Austin Powers”.
Q produced “The Color Purple” and Michael Jackson’s albums “Off The Wall”, and “Thriller”.
Awards and Accomplishments • Since 1961, Q has written film scores for 34 motion pictures. • He’s written 13 television scores, 4 animated films, and produced 4 music videos. • Q has received • 29 Grammy Awards • 74 Grammy Nominations • 25 Grammy Participation Certificates • 1 American Music Award • 1 Academy Award • 7 Academy Award Nominations • 23 Humanitarian Awards
He’s also received Emmy Awards, MTV Awards, Image Awards, Ebony Music Awards, Golden Globe Nominations, and many more. • Q has received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts, Arts and Letters, Music, Philosophy, Fine Arts, and many other academic awards.