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Originally published March 17, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified March 17, 2008 at 9:41 AM

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Concert marks Quincy Jones' 75th birthday

"I can't think of a greater honor than this," said Quincy Jones on Sunday evening, just before the all-star concert at the Paramount Theatre...

Seattle Times jazz critic

"I can't think of a greater honor than this," said Quincy Jones on Sunday evening, just before the all-star concert at the Paramount Theatre that celebrated his 75th birthday (on March 15) and his musical career.

At the concert, the culmination of this month's opening of the Northwest African American Museum, Jones received the museum's first Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jones, who began his career in Seattle in the 1940s, went on to become one of the most important figures in the American music industry, from writing for Count Basie to producing Michael Jackson's album, "Thriller."

At a preconcert news conference at Seattle's Sorrento Hotel, he rhapsodized about his alma mater, Garfield High School, whose jazz band was scheduled for the Paramount, along with Carlos Santana, Ernestine Anderson, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and others.

Jones played in Seattle with the young Ray Charles early in their careers. He never imagined that a museum would be built to honor the achievements of Seattle's African Americans. When he first lived in the area, Jones said, his family was put into segregated housing in Bremerton.

"Ray and I used to say, 'Not one drop of my self-worth depends on your acceptance of me.' "

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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