Introduction such as Michael Jackson. Contribution to music


The essay is a critical examination of Quincy Jones as a music mogul in the past present and future. To successfully do this his early life and musical career, contribution to music as well as social activism will be succinctly brought to light. Born in 1933 in March 14 in Chicago he was brought up in Bremerton where his passion for music was realized (Glickman & Rochelle par.

5). A close examination of the artist, producer, arranger, publisher, film and TV producer and composer reveals that he was and still is a force to recon in the world and American music industry. This can be attested by the numerous honors and accolade he has received. Since he joined the music industry Quincy has received twenty seven Grammy Awards, he has been nominated seven times for Oscar Awards, one Emmy Award, fifteen Image Awards from NAACP and also the Royal Swedish Academy’s Polar Music Award (Jones & Eastwood 127). Additionally, Quincy upon his head has been honored with thirteen honorary doctorates and was named the 2001 Kennedy Center Honoree for what he did to cultural fabric of United States of America (Jones 46). It is no doubt that all these honors and awards were for his sound contribution to the music industry not only in American but across the globe.

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Music career

After his parents moved to Washington, he joined a school band where he actively engaged in gospel songs upon joining the school choir. While in high school he began playing trumpet. When he was 14 years old he came across Ray Charles an up coming musician who later became his long term friend. In 1950 Quincy was awarded a scholarship in Boston to study music. He left his studies when an opportunity to tour with Lionel Hampton was offered to him. He was to go as a trumpeter; the tour provided him with the opportunity to show case his prowess in arranging music.

He later moved to New York and worked as a freelancer arranger of music. Again in 1956 together with Dizzy Gillespie he got an opportunity of visiting Middle East as well as South America. Back to U.S, he landed a contract with ABC-Paramount Records. He later went to Paris where he studied theory as well as how to compose music (Jones 98). According to Glickman & Rochelle par.8 Quincy formed his own band made up of 18 members. The group toured Europe and North America where they met audiences that were overwhelmed by the bands performance.

However, this went wrong in terms of finance and budget forcing the team to break, Quincy said “We had the best jazz band in the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That’s when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business” (Jones 124). Mercury Record then helped him to rise again and came to be the first African American to be the vice president in an organization owned by a white. In 1964 Quincy ventured in world of film scores. It is worth mentioning that before this he arranged music for such prominent artists of the time such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington among others.

He also came up with solo recordings which were a bomb and included track such as Walking in Space, Smackwater Jack to mention but a few. Additionally the hit song Soul Bossa Nova was the theme for 1998 world cup. He has also produced music for prominent artists such as Michael Jackson.

Contribution to music industry

Through his production, it is evident that million of copies of music from stars such as Michael Jackson have reached every corner of the world (Tutton par. 2). For instance, ‘Thriller’ sold over 110 million copies. In my view, this not only earns the artist income and popularity but makes the music to be appreciated in each and every corners of the globe.

It is also worth noting that through his initiative of developing a band, up coming musician are provided with an opportunity not only to show case their ability but also to improve on their weak sides. This has immensely contributed to the current musicians we have. On the same note he has collaborated with a number of artists such as Charles and produced memorable songs that not only entertains but educate people of their history, especially the African Americans. He notes that “You can’t know the present or the future without knowing the past, and for young black Americans especially, it’s a sin to forget where we’ve been and what we’ve done in music,” (Tutton par. 6) Additionally, Quincy has established through collaboration with Salzman David a company dubbed Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment. The company deals with varied issues such as producing “media technology, motion pictures, TV programs as well as magazines” (The Music Industry Report par. 2) Additionally, his production company Qwest, Vibe Media not only produces music for artists but provide job opportunities for individuals who are professionals in music business. There is no doubt that this initiative have contributed positively in the music industry for instance producing high quality visuals and making it possible for up coming artists to attain their dreams.

Similarly, his efforts to form a video podcast in which he shares his experiences, skills and knowledge about the music industry offers an insight for new and emerging artists as well as those already in the business (Tutton par. 3). Last but not least he has formed a partnership with AKG which has seen to it that there are three models of headphones which include Q460, Q701 and Q350.

All these are work well in promoting high quality sound in music. With regards to the same Quincy notes, “Music is so much more than notes on a sheet of paper…, “When it’s created with passion, with soul, we get something that is greater than ourselves – and it can move us deeply.” (Geoff par. 7)

Social activism

It is also worth noting that the artist has not only contributed positively in the music arena but in social, political, cultural and economic well being of the society.

For instance, through his initiative he engineered a collaboration of various artists that saw to it production of a hit song ‘We are the World’ which contributed 50 million dollars that was used to help Ethiopians who were suffering from famine back in 1985 (The Music Industry Report par. 9). “On the same note, he sponsored a tour to South Africa for teens from Los Angeles” (Jones & Eastwoo 208). While there they took part in activities aimed at constructing houses to the poor ones in which they learnt a lot. As suggested by Tutton par. 11 it is important to remember that Quincy also supported the efforts of Martin Luther King Jr.

additionally, he was the architect of We Are the Future a project that offers children from poor family background and affected by conflict to carry on with live as they develop hope. More importantly, he supports such charities such as NAACP, Peace Games, GLAAD to mention but a few (Geoff par. 3).


From the review of Quincy Jones contribution to music, it is evident that he chose to be a musician due to the fact that it was his passion and he loved it. Similarly, his early friend Charles helped nurture him. Quincy saw it fit to use music to help the less fortunate in the society. The numerous honors and accolades attests to his contribution not only to the music industry but to the social, political and economic well being of the people across the globe.

He is credited for various charities especially those aimed in bettering the lives of those facing difficulties.

Works Cited

Glickman, Simon & Rochelle, Leslie. Jones, Quincy 1933– Contemporary Black Biography 2002. Viewed May 23, 2011 Geoff, Boucher.

Quincy Jones’ long and restless song, 2011. Viewed May 23, 2011 The Music Industry Report. Quincy Jones Partners With HARMAN for New Signature Line of AKG Headphones, 2010.

Viewed May 23 2011 Jones, Quincy & Eastwood, Clint. Complete Quincy Jones: My Journey, My Passions: Photos and Mementos from Q’s Personal Collection.

New York: Palace Publishing Group, LP, 2008. Print. Jones, Quincy. Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones, New York: Warner Books, 1990. Print Tutton, Mark.

Quincy Jones: The beat goes on, 2008. Viewed May 23, 2011


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