Exceptional People

Quincy Jones

Quincy's middle name is Delight. Can you imagine the foresight of his parents 82 years ago on March 14 in Chicago, passing down his father's name: Quincy "Delight" Jones the 2nd?! 

He has lived that name to the delight of all of us, the world over, and then some.

From my personal experience, he is the great encourager, the one who sees the better you or a potential you may not have even considered. He changed the course of my career and life in one of those Q-moments.

When you know he is in your corner it's "game over".  What 5 star review or peer praise do you need if Quincy says your stuff is slammin' ?

Here's a man trained in Paris, partially, by Nadia Boulanger - who taught composition to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Darius Milhaud - who was also raised with the memory of "eating fried rats" when living near poverty level conditions before his break-through.  Racism, he lived it - whether it was having to sit in the "colored only" section in the 50's, or having the police accidentally arrest him for driving into his own Bel Air home in the 70's.

He transcended all of it. 

Mike Myers got it right in his Austin Powers "Goldmember" movie's opening dance number, where Quincy conducts the film orchestra in session, and Powers jumps off the scoring stage and runs up to him, kisses his cheek and says  "this is where the movie gets its mojo, baby!"

His delight is sharing that mojo with all of us, that special touch of genius and love he brings. He thinks like Picasso paints, like Spielberg directs, like Jobs dreamed, like Pixar renders, like Alice Walker writes, like Ray Charles sang... he's the living embodiment of soul. 

Imagine the king of jazz trumpeters in the 50's with his Quincy Jones Big Band, two decades later surviving two brain aneurism surgeries (50/50 chance of survival) metal plates put in his skull each time, suddenly he can no longer play his instrument because of the pressure on his brain, so
he reinvents himself, and perseveres to even greater success. 

Going completely deaf in my left ear 35 years ago, his story has been an inspiration for me to persevere. Like I said, with a mentor like Quincy, you've already won.  The battle is just internal to create the best art and be the best "you" from that point forward.

Thank you dear Papa Q. Whatever you do, don't stop!


Up Next: Steven Sondheim

"One of the things I learned early on about theater and all art is art needs surprise, otherwise it doesn't hold an audience's attention. Theater needs surprise, so I like to surprise myself and I want to surprise the audience."   Stephen Sondheim