Producer, composer and Berklee alumnus Quincy Jones will turn 80 on March 14th. To celebrate his life and storied accomplish- ments, his alma mater is hosting a tribute to the man and his work on Sunday, February 24th. The Great American Songbook: The Music of Quincy Jones is part of Berklee Performance Center's signature series, and will encompass Quincy Jones' career, including songs he wrote and/or produced during his five-decade tenure in the music industry.
The tribute concert includes performances by Berklee students and faculty, guest turns by singers Patti Austin ("Baby Come To Me", "The Way I Feel") and Siedah Garrett ("One Man Woman") and a 30-piece orchestra providing accompaniment. Although Jones is perhaps best known for his collaborations with the late Michael Jackson (Jones was producer on all Jackson's recordings, including the hit albums Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad) he also produced for Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Chaka Khan, Frank Sinatra and Herbie Hancock, just to name a few.
Jones' career in music began back in the late 50's: he was a trumpeter for jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie's band, and later served as arranger for him. This led to gigs like being musical director for composer Harold Arlen's Free and Easy, and then music label Mercury Records' New York Division. Label president Irving Green would later promote him to the position of Vice President in 1964, an unprecedented feat for an African American at that time.
That same year, film director Sidney Lumet commissioned him to write the score for his motion picture The Pawnbroker. Jones would go on to write scores for over thirty movies, including In The Heat of the Night, In Cold Blood, The Italian Job, Cactus Flower (starring a young Goldie Hawn) and The Getaway. Fans of classic tv also recognize Jones for writing the theme to Norman Lear's sitcom Sanford and Son, starring Redd Foxx, who was his good friend. In 1974, Jones wed actress Peggy Lipton, star of tv's The Mod Squad. Their interracial marriage raised more than a few eyebrows in the business, and the union produced two daughters, Kidada and Rashida Jones. Jones and Lipton divorced in 1990, but remain close friends to this day.
The Great American Songbook: The Music of Quincy Jones takes place this Sunday, February 24th at 7:30pm. Tickets for reserved seating are $8.00 and $16.00 in advance, $12.00 and $20.00 day of show. For more information, visit http://www.berklee.edu/bpc or call (617) 747-2261.