Quincy Jones: A Musical Maestro
and Qwest TV’s co-founder

Quincy Jones is a name synonymous with innovation and excellence in the world of music. A true impresario in every sense, his career spans over seven decades and has left an indelible mark on the artists of every subsequent generation. Who is Quincy Jones? He is a composer, artist, arranger, conductor, producer, philanthropist, record company executive, and multi-media entrepreneur. At Qwest TV, we are proud to have him as our co-founder.
Quincy Jones’ early years
Born on March 14th, 1933, in Chicago's Southside and raised in Seattle, Jones began his musical journey learning the trumpet under the guidance of the legendary Clark Terry. His studies continued at the prestigious Schillinger House (now Berklee College of Music) in Boston and, at just 20 years old, he embarked on a tour with Lionel Hampton's band as a trumpeter, arranger, and pianist.

His talent and creative prowess soon found him arranging and recording for musical giants such as Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, and many others. In 1957, he furthered his education under the legendary Nadia Boulanger in Paris, recording and working with European and American artists.
Quincy Jones achievements
As Barack Obama once said about Quincy: “At each stage in his remarkable career, he's been the first. He's been somebody who's walked through that door before everybody else has.” Indeed, Quincy broke barriers in the music industry, becoming the first high-level Black executive in an established major record company when he became Vice President of Mercury Records in 1961. He has also broken barriers in film by revitalizing the industry with his infusion of jazz and soul elements. Notably, he scored the music for Sidney Lumet's "The Pawnbroker" in 1963, the first of his many major motion picture and television scores. In terms of musical exploration, Quincy has worked with almost every genre under the sun and blended sounds with a pioneering spirit, from jazz to classical to hip hop to soul to bossa nova and many more.

The accolades and awards have been innumerable throughout his career. He won his first Grammy in 1963 and has gone on to accumulate an astonishing 27 Grammy Awards. Notably, his work on Count Basie's "I Can't Stop Loving You" and Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon" gained immense acclaim.

Another remarkable achievement for Quincy was when he earned the rare EGOT status, being one of only 21 artists to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award throughout his career. His contributions to American art and culture have also earned him the prestigious Kennedy Center Honoree and National Medal of Arts recognition.
Quincy Jones, the legendary producer
But it is perhaps in the studio where Quincy Jones has made most history. His famous collaboration with Michael Jackson resulted in some of the most iconic and successful music in history. In the early 1980s, Quincy Jones produced three of Michael Jackson's landmark albums: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), and Bad (1987). Thriller, in particular, became a cultural phenomenon, breaking numerous records and solidifying Michael Jackson's status as the King of Pop. The album featured chart-topping hits like “Billie Jean,” the eponymous "Thriller," and "Beat It," which showcased Jones' masterful production skills and Michael Jackson's unparalleled talent as a performer and songwriter.

In 1985, Quincy continued to break new ground by producing Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, earning eleven Oscar nominations and marking his debut as a producer on the film, in which he launched the career of Oprah Winfrey.

In the same year, he recorded a charity single, “We Are the World,” as producer and conductor, with a supergroup including Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Tiny Turner, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Harry Belafonte and many more. With 20 million copies sold, it remains the 8th best-selling single of all time.

He followed this success up with the landmark 1989 album, Back On The Block, which blended jazz and hip-hop traditions, featuring legendary artists collaborating with contemporary stars.
Quincy Jones business ventures
Quincy Jones' influence has also extended beyond music and film. He co-founded VIBE Magazine in 1991, showcasing his diverse interests and keen eye for talent and remained an active humanitarian, using his influence to raise funds and awareness for causes like Ethiopian famine relief and debt relief for the developing world. He also discovered Will Smith in the 1990s and produced successful TV shows like Fresh Prince Of Bel Air at the same time as launching his record company Qwest Records.

As a best-selling author, Quincy released his autobiography, Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones, which offered an inspiring account of his journey from a struggling youth to an icon in the entertainment world. The publication was followed up on in 2021 by 12 Notes on Life and Creativity, a memoir and a guide to life and art in 12 steps.
What did Quincy Jones do recently?
As he entered the 21st century, Quincy Jones continued to embrace new opportunities. He ventured into the Middle East and North Africa with Global Gumbo Group exploring multimedia projects and showcasing regional talents.

Well into his 80s and 90s, Quincy Jones's passion and energy has remained undiminished. He was the feature of an award-winning Netflix documentary about his life, directed by his daughter, Rashida Jones. He continues to manage talented young artists through Quincy Jones Productions, has expanded his licensing division, and opened Q's Bar & Lounge venues worldwide.

In 2017, Quincy co-founded Qwest TV with French impresario and Grammy-nominated producer, Reza Ackbaraly. Qwest TV is a global video hub embodying Quincy’s mission to inspire, educate and unite people through great music. With roots in jazz, this multi-genre service is curated by music legends and experts, placing all music on the same cultural pedestal, regardless of genre or geography. With diversity in its DNA, Qwest TV’s three products – Live channel, the Qwest TV+ on-demand platform and the Education scheme – provide an accessible portal to rich cultural experiences, enabling users to connect with and understand where they come from, a key step in paving the way towards a better future.
Quincy Jones’ Legacy
Quincy Jones's legacy is not only in the music he created but also in the lives he touched through philanthropy and humanitarian efforts. A true visionary and trailblazer, his contributions to the entertainment industry and beyond will continue to inspire future generations.