D.D. Jackson

I am a two-time Emmy Award-winning composer, and Juno Award-winning jazz pianist and educator. As a composer, I specialize in writing, arranging, and producing memorable, custom-made music for t.v., film & other media. I consider myself an "artistic problem solver": I strive to get to the essential conceptual truth of what the client is looking for - and to express it in a creative and supportive way. [READ MORE] or [BIO]

Last Few Months Update

 A lot has happened these past couple of months – I’ll try to recap:

Jan./02 was spent pre-occupied with the Arts Presenter’s Conference, where I had decided to have my own “D.D. Jackson Booth”, with my agent, Jenny Barriol of Alloverseas, llc. manning it most of the time on my behalf. It required a tremendous amount of preparation, as we displayed a professionally produced video culled from various previously-broadcast performances of myself from the past several years, which we then played over and over again at the booth; we updated press materials; had made a professional 5 feet long sign; and, perhaps most importantly, networked and organized several showcases, including Joe’s Pub with Dafnis Prieto and Ugonna Okegwo (from my CD), and also several in conjunction with poet/storyteller David Gonzalez, at the New Victory Theatre Performing Arts Space. 

It was an utterly exhausting experience, but we now realize quite a worthwhile one, as actually the majority of the people who heard us have since approached us seriously about potential future bookings.

After APAP I put together an opera demo for the Canada Council in preparation for the opera project I’m pursuing with librettist George Elliot Clarke for the Sept./03 Guelph Jazzfest. The work deals with the interactions between two interracial couples - one featuring a Chinese girl and African-Canadian man (modelled very loosely on my parents!); the other an Indian woman and Creole man. I hired a great bunch of players at the last-minute, with violinist Chris Howes, vocalist Dean Bowman, Eric Rockwin on bass (from a great group called “Gutbucket”), and a drummer with whom I had previously never worked named Kirk Driscoll. It was actually quite exhilarating working under such a ridiculous time constraint (the whole two song demo, from writing, to arranging, rehearsing, recording and mixing was put together in 3 days) and I was very pleased with the results. Upcoming over the next many months will be lots of phone-conference back-and-forths between me and George, followed by at least 2 critical workshops, culminating (knock on wood), in the final performance in Sept./03....

Also recorded music for a very interesting debut film of a filmmaker friend of mine from my hometown of Kanata named Alex Baack. The film is called “Untitled: A Love Story” and documents a relationship between the main character, played by Alex himself, and an invisible girl. Alex's goal is to submit it for consideration at the upcoming first annual Tribeca Film Festival for firsttime filmmakers, and I wish him well - he certainly has put his heart and soul into the film. For the work I wrote and recorded a solo piano score, mostly plaintive music, with different themes representing different characters and their interactions. A good experience, and I can certainly use my work on this film to try and do more music for film in the future, something which has always been one of my long-term goals...

A few other interesting developments: I was nominated for the 4th time for a Juno Award (in the category of "Best Contemporary Jazz Album") for my most recent CD “Sigame”. The awards will take place this April in St. John's, Newfoundland. And I just got back from the Jazz Report Awards in Toronto (now newly re-christened the “National Jazz Awards”), where I received the Socan Award for Jazz Composer/Songwriter of the Year - a very nice honour. As part of the event I also performed with John Geggie and Mark McLean, a slightly truncated version of my tune “Summer”, from Sigame. All in all a very tight, professional evening, broadcast live on CBC radio across Canada.

 The highlight for me was at least making eye contact with the great Oscar Peterson, who was there to be inducted in the Canadian Jazz and Blues Hall of Fame. He looked sadly feeble in his wheelchair and could barely stand to receive the award; he after receiving it played the piano and again sounded weak and tired. But he was all elegance and class as always. I made a point of trying to meet him after he was wheeled off the stage, and basically quickly introduced myself and managed to get off the words: "thanks for the inspiration!" before he was whisked away...