70 Quincy Jones Quotes from American Record Producer

Quincy “Q” Jones, born in Chicago on March 14, 1933, began his music journey with the trumpet forming a combo with Ray Charles in his teens.

Winning a scholarship to Berklee, he later worked with legends like Count Basie and Duke Ellington.

His significant contributions to music range from being a trumpeter to producing Michael Jackson’s hit albums and composing film scores, earning him 28 Grammy Awards.

Quincy Jones

In addition to his musical achievements, Jones is known for his social activism and efforts to promote African American music and culture.

His life story has been documented in an autobiographical book and a Netflix documentary both of which showcase his multifaceted contributions to the world of entertainment and social justice.

Here is an amazing collection of quotes from Quincy Jones.

Top 10 Quincy Jones Quotes


Making a record is like painting a school bus with a toothbrush. ~ Quincy Jones.


I learned real early why God gave us two ears and one mouth because you’re supposed to listen twice as much as you talk. ~ Quincy Jones.


You have to know that your real home is within. ~ Quincy Jones.


Everybody has their idiosyncrasies. ~ Quincy Jones.


Every country can be defined through their food, their music, and their language. That’s the soul of a country. ~ Quincy Jones.


It’s the attitude about life, man. Looking at the light instead of the dark. Looking at love instead of fear. ~ Quincy Jones.


When you’re over the hill, that’s when you pick up speed. ~ Quincy Jones.


Music in movies is all about dissonance and consonance, tension and release. ~ Quincy Jones.


You cannot get an A if you’re afraid of getting an F. ~ Quincy Jones.


Greatness occurs when your children love you, when your critics respect you and when you have peace of mind. ~ Quincy Jones.

Powerful Quincy Jones Quotes


What happens when you get a big break and you haven’t prepared yourself? That becomes the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. I see it happen all the time. ~ Quincy Jones.

After every war, there was a significant change in the music, and I can understand how that happened. If you participate in protecting the country, you think you can be part of it, but you come back home and it’s worse than ever. ~ Quincy Jones.


Michael (Jackson) was so shy, he’d sit down and sing behind the couch with his back to me while I sat with my hands over my eyes and the lights off. ~ Quincy Jones.


The act of multitrack recording is the act of arranging. ~ Quincy Jones.

I chose the trombone because the trombone players in the marching band got to be upfront with the majorettes (because of the slides) and I loved that! ~ Quincy Jones.


There’s nothing in the world worse than having an opportunity that you’re not prepared for. Good luck usually follows the collision of opportunity and preparation – it’s a result of that collision. You’ve got to be prepared. ~ Quincy Jones.

Famous Quincy Jones Quotes

My son is a hip-hop producer. ~ Quincy Jones.


I was reading Omar Khayyam, Kahlil Gibran, Rumi, L. Ron Hubbard, all sorts of philosophy. Bebop cats are like that. Curious. I wanted to know about everything. ~ Quincy Jones.

My grandmother had this high-tech security system – a rusty nail she used to lock the door. ~ Quincy Jones.


Let’s not get too full of ourselves. Let’s leave space for God to come into the room. ~ Quincy Jones.

I go to the favelas in Brazil. It’s the same in the South Side of Chicago. It’s the same, or just more violent. We’re trying to get them to stop selling dope. You see kids with AK-47s and nine-year-olds with nine millimeters. You know, they don’t play. They make us look like nuns. ~ Quincy Jones.


It’s amazing how much trouble you can get in when you don’t have anything else to do. ~ Quincy Jones.

All the jazz guys had interracial relationships, and even the ladies did. Over the years, interracial relationships have been a hip, almost defiant thing, a way of saying “Nobody can put a boundary around me.” ~ Quincy Jones.

I used to practice piano for hours, and now, with a synthesizer, you can input the music and the machine perfects the song. That’s why we have so many people in the music business who should be plumbers. They don’t really understand music because they haven’t been trained. ~ Quincy Jones.


You can study orchestration, you can study harmony and theory and everything else, but melodies come straight from God. ~ Quincy Jones.

It has been proven time and time again in countless studies that students who actively participate in arts education are twice as likely to read for pleasure, have strengthened problem-solving and critical thinking skills, are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, four times more likely to participate in a math and science fair. ~ Quincy Jones.


Popular Quincy Jones Quotes


Every day you must be able to say, I have to get up because I’m needed by someone. As long as you have that, you’re healthy. ~ Quincy Jones.

I started imagining this whole different world. It was a society of musicians, a family I hoped I could belong to one day. ~ Quincy Jones.

Hell, nobody knows where jazz is going to go. There may be a kid right now in Chitlin Switch, Georgia, who is going to come along and upset everybody. ~ Quincy Jones.


Editing while you’re writing is like strangling the baby in the crib. ~ Quincy Jones.

I got a scholarship to Seattle University and I was writing arrangements for singers and everybody. But the music course was too dry and I really wanted to get away from home. ~ Quincy Jones.

I was inspired by a lot of people when I was young, every band that came through town, to the theater, or the dance hall. I was at every dance, every night club, listened to every band that came through, because in those days we didn’t have MTV, we didn’t have television. ~ Quincy Jones.


I’ve been driven all my life by a spirit of adventure and a criminal level of optimism. I believed in my dreams because they were my only option. The people who make it to the top are addicted to their calling. You have to honor the gift God has given you. The people who get the call are the ones who’d be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren’t being paid. ~ Quincy Jones.

If architecture is frozen music then music must be liquid architecture. ~ Quincy Jones.

Every day, my daddy told me the same thing. ‘Once a task is just begun, never leave it till it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.’ ~ Quincy Jones.

The people who make it to the top – whether they’re musicians, or great chefs, or corporate honchos – are addicted to their calling … [they] are the ones who’d be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren’t being paid. ~ Quincy Jones.

Best Quincy Jones Quotes

I tell my kids and I tell proteges, always have humility when you create and grace when you succeed because it’s not about you. You are a terminal for a higher power. As soon as you accept that, you can do it forever. ~ Quincy Jones.

Jazz has the power to make men forget their differences and come together… Jazz is the personification of transforming overwhelmingly negative circumstances into freedom, friendship, hope, and dignity. ~ Quincy Jones.


I’ve met every freak in the business. ~ Quincy Jones.

Arts is just as important as military defense, you know? Emotional defense is just as important. ~ Quincy Jones.

Did you know you would become as successful as you have? Hell, no. But you know what? You were prepared, baby. ~ Quincy Jones.

You want your parents to say, “Hey, I’m proud of you.” When you don’t hear that, you learn to compensate. You say, “Hell, I don’t need their approval. If I get my music right, I’ll have everyone else’s approval.” I didn’t understand it then, but I now know that’s what happened to me. ~ Quincy Jones.

Music was the one thing I could control. It was the one world that offered me freedom. When I played music, my nightmares ended. My family problems disappeared. I didn’t have to search for answers. The answers lay no further than the bell of my trumpet and my scrawled, penciled scores. Music made me full, strong, popular, self-reliant, and cool. ~ Quincy Jones.

I guess hip-hop has been closer to the pulse of the streets than any music we’ve had in a long time. It’s sociology as well as music, which is in keeping with the tradition of black music in America. ~ Quincy Jones.

So, make your mistakes now and make them quickly. If you’ve made the mistakes, you know what to expect the next time. That’s how you become valuable. ~ Quincy Jones.

Quotes by Quincy Jones

I got in the school band and the school choir. It all hit me like a ton of bricks, everything just came out. I played percussion for a while, and stayed after school forever just tinkering around with different things, the clarinets, and the violins. ~ Quincy Jones.

Billy Strayhorn wrote Multicolored Blue. Billy to me is the boss of the arrangers. ~ Quincy Jones.

Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing. ~ Quincy Jones.


The process is the most beautiful part. ~ Quincy Jones.

The climate in the ’50s and ’60s for black performers or black people in the entertainment business was atrocious. It was atrocious. ~ Quincy Jones.

There’s power in the collective. If you don’t believe me, just watch a symphony orchestra with a conductor and 120 people who are thinking about exactly the same thing at the same moment – no babies, no stock markets, no mortgages. Just 32nd notes. ~ Quincy Jones.

I found this out over the years, that racism is a thinly veiled disguise over economics and money. It really is. ~ Quincy Jones.

A person’s age can be determined by the degree of pain he experiences when he comes in contact with a new idea. ~ Quincy Jones.

It’s easy to get next to music theory, especially between your peers and music classes and so forth. You just pay attention. I had a good ear, so I realized that printed music was just about reminding you what to play. ~ Quincy Jones.

Communications are making this one world. Back in the day, 400-500 years ago, nobody knew what anyone else was doing. It’s on the 6 o’clock news now. Now we can say, Oh, that’s the way they live. Oh, they do that!! Opportunities, the chance to bring about change, it’s all based on communication. Communication and jet planes. ~ Quincy Jones.

Quotes from Quincy Jones

I’ve always thought that a big laugh is a really loud noise from the soul saying, “Ain’t that the truth.” ~ Quincy Jones.

Empty the cup every time and it comes back at twice as full. I developed that attitude when I was very, very young, when I decided I didn’t want to be a gangster anymore. Whether it’s just shining shoes, I said okay, I’m going to do this better than anybody else did it in my life. ~ Quincy Jones.

Playing the game, and unfortunately, playing the gangster game is very profitable. ~ Quincy Jones.


Not one ounce of my self worth depends on your acceptance of me. ~ Quincy Jones.

A song should have all the color and beauty of every rose. ~ Quincy Jones.

I never felt like that in my life. I didn’t know human beings played these instruments. I heard them in Chicago and Louisville and St. Louis all my life, you know? But I didn’t know human beings played them, you know? So the next day I went to Coontz Junior High School and I started on sousaphone, tuba, B-flat baritone, E-flat alto, French horn, trombone. ~ Quincy Jones.

I’m a tremendous believer and supporter in hip-hop and rap. ~ Quincy Jones.

You Make Your Mistakes To Learn How To Get To The Good Stuff ~ Quincy Jones.

Thank God, 50 years ago I learned that our entire business is all based on two things; a great song and a great story. Film, television, if you don’t have that story, nothing else matters. You don’t call anybody else or direct anybody. The same with a song. A great song can make the worst singer in the world a star. ~ Quincy Jones.

So these were the 70 famous quotes about Quincy Jones.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Phil Robertson quotes and Pete Seeger quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar