He began his musical career playing with jazz musician Ray Charles, the jazz clubs in Seattle, Washington. In 1951 he was successful as a trumpeter Lionel Hamptons band. He was a skilled organizer and led several bands. In 1957 he became a record producer on the record label Barclay Records in Paris.
In 1960, Jones became the first black employee of a high post at a major record label, Mercury Records. When jazz was no longer so popular, he was asked to produce singles by pop music. The first was It’s My Party by Lesley Gore. In 1962 he wrote Soul Bossa Nova, an accessible melody which decades later became known as the theme of the movie Austin Powers. In the mid 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles and began writing film scores, including the music for the film In Cold Blood. He also wrote the signature melodies to several TV series. In 1969 he recorded Walking In Space, an early jazz fusion disc.
In the 1970s, Jones produced more pop and less jazz. He received due to take some criticism from people who felt that he sold himself. In 1977 he was commissioned to write the music for The Wiz, a modernized version of the Wizard of Oz. There he met Michael Jackson, who had been one of the roles in the film, and they agreed that Jones would be the producer of Jackson’s first solo album, “Off the Wall”. Success and friendship meant that cooperation continued.
In the mid-1980s were Quincy Jones, producer of the charity single We Are the World. 1989 he was producer of the Back On The Block, where stars like Barry White, James Ingram, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, George Benson, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan was included, along with Big Daddy Kane and other rap and hip-hopstjärnor. Among the TV productions he has been involved in include the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and among film credits include The Color Purple. He has won 26 Grammy and received the Polar Music Prize 1994.