An impresario in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, Quincy Jones'' career has encompassed the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, he has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live performance, movies and television.
Celebrating more than 60 years performing and being involved in music, Quincy''s creative magic has spanned over six decades, beginning with the music of the post-swing era and continuing through today''s high-technology, international multi-media hybrids. In the mid-50''s, he was the first popular conductor-arranger to record with a Fender bass. His theme from the hit TV series Ironside was the first synthesizer- based pop theme song. As the first black composer to be embraced by the Hollywood establishment in the 60''s, he helped refresh movie music with badly needed infusions of jazz and soul. His landmark 1989 album, Back On The Block-named "Album Of The Year" at the 1990 Grammy Awards- brought such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Miles Davis together with Ice T, Big Daddy Kane and Melle Mel to create the first fusion of the be bop and hip hop musical traditions; while his 1993 recording of the critically acclaimed Miles and Quincy Live At Montreux, featured Quincy conducting Miles Davis'' live performance of the historic Gil Evans arrangements from the Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain sessions, garnered a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance. As producer and conductor of the historic "We Are The World" recording (the best-selling single of all time) and Michael Jackson''s multi-platinum solo albums, Off The Wall, Bad and Thriller (the best selling album of all time, with over 50 million copies sold), Quincy Jones stands as one of the most successful and admired creative artist/executives in the entertainment world.
His 1995 recording, Q''s Jook Joint, again showcased Quincy''s ability to mold the unique talents of an eclectic group of singers and musicians, in what resulted in a retrospective of his broad and diverse career from that of a seasoned Jazz musician, to skilled composer, arranger, and bandleader, to acclaimed record producer.
A reference to the backwoods club houses of rural America in the 1930''s, 40''s, and 50''s, the platinum selling Q''s Jook Joint featured performances by artists such as Bono, Brandy, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Coolio, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Gloria Estefan, Rachelle Ferrell, Aaron Hall, Herbie Hancock, Heavy D., Ron Isley, Chaka Khan, R. Kelly, Queen Latifah, Tone Loc, the Luniz, Brian McKnight, Melle Mel, Shaquille O''Neal, Joshua Redman, the Broadway musical troupe Stomp, SWV, Take 6, newcomer Tamia, Toots Thielemans, Mervyn Warren, Barry White, Warren Wiebe, Charlie Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Mr. X, and Yo-Yo, among others, and garnered seven Grammy nominations. His recording, From Q, With Love, featured a collection of 26 love songs that he recorded over the last 32 years of his more than 50 year career in the music business.
In 1957, Quincy decided to continue his musical education by studying with Nadia Boulanger, the legendary Parisian tutor to American expatriate composers such as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copeland. To subsidize his studies he took a job with Barclay Disques, Mercury''s French distributor. Among the artists he recorded in Europe were Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel and Henri Salvador, as well as such visitors from America as Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine and Andy Williams. Quincy''s love affair with European audiences continues through the present: in 1991, he began a continuing association with the Montreux Jazz and World Music Festival, which he serves as co-
Quincy won the first of his many Grammy''s in 1963 for his Count Basie arrangement of "I Can''t Stop Loving You." Quincy''s three-year musical association as conductor and arranger with Frank Sinatra in the mid-60''s also teamed him with Basie for the classic Sinatra At The Sands, containing the famous arrangement of "Fly Me To The Moon," the first recording played by astronaut Buzz Aldrin when he landed upon the moon''s surface in 1969.
When he became vice-president at Mercury Records in 1961, Quincy became the first high-level black executive of an established major record company. Toward the end of his association with the label, Quincy turned his attention to another musical area that had been closed to blacks-the world of film scores. In 1963, he started work on the music for Sidney Lumet''s The Pawnbroker and it was the first of his 33 major motion
picture scores. In 1985, he co-produced Steven Spielberg''s adaptation of Alice Walker''s The Color Purple, which garnered eleven Oscar nominations, introduced Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to film audiences, and marked Quincy''s debut as a film producer. In 1991 Quincy helped launch NBC-TV''s hit series, The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, for which he served as an executive producer.
In 1990, Quincy Jones formed Quincy Jones Entertainment (QJE), a co-venture with Time Warner, Inc. The new company, which Quincy served as CEO and chairman, had a broad ranging, multi-media agenda which encompassed programming for current and future technologies, including theatrical motion pictures and network, cable and syndicated television. QJE produced NBC Television''s Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (now in syndication), and UPN''s In The House and Fox Television''s Mad TV, among other syndicated shows and television specials. In 1991 Jones founded VIBE Magazine, and with his publishing group VIBE Ventures, would go on to acquire SPIN Magazine before divesting his magazine interests.
In January 1992, Quincy Jones executive produced the An American Reunion concert at Lincoln Memorial, an all-star concert and celebration that was the first official event of the presidential inaugural celebration and drew widespread acclaim as an HBO telecast.
On March 25, 1996, Quincy Jones, executive produced the most watched awards show in the world, the 68th Annual Academy Awards. The show received widespread acclaim as one of the most memorable Academy Award shows in recent years.
In 1997, Quincy Jones formed the Quincy Jones Media Group. QJMG''s feature film projects in development include such highly anticipated films as the adaptations of the Ralph Ellison novel Juneteeth, David Halberstam''s The Children for Home Box Office in association with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, a bio-pic on the 19th century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, Pimp and Seeds of Peace for Showtime, among others. For television, QJMG is developing the sit-com The White Guy. QJMG is also active in live entertainment, direct response marketing, and cross-media projects for home entertainment and educational applications.
As a record company executive, Quincy remained highly active in th