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Lucy Jackson recalled that after he heard her that one day, she could not get him off her piano if she tried.After the war, the Jones family moved to Seattle, the major regional city, where Jones attended Garfield High School near his home.Jones has said he got much more experience with music growing up in a smaller city; otherwise, he would have faced too much competition.At the age of 14, Jones introduced himself to a then 16-year-old musician from Florida, Ray Charles, after watching him play at the Black Elks Club.Poor budget planning resulted in an economic disaster; the band dissolved and the fallout left Jones in a financial crisis.Musician Magazine “We had the best jazz band on the planet, and yet we were literally starving.
In 1971, Jones was the first African American to be named as the musical director and conductor of the Academy Awards ceremony.In 1957, Quincy settled in Paris, where he studied composition and theory with Classical composers Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen. Jones became music director at Barclay Disques, a leading French record company and the licensee for Mercury Records in France.During the 1950s, Jones successfully toured throughout Europe with a number of jazz orchestras.(As of 2016, Jones's application for admission continued to be preserved on display at Berklee.) He left his studies after he received an offer to tour as a trumpeter with the bandleader Lionel Hampton and embarked on his professional career.While Jones was on the road with Hampton, he displayed a gift for arranging songs.