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]

Perilous Journey From Japan

At the end of August, I got back from my return trip to Japan as pianist with David Murray's quartet. It was as satisfying as always, but I must admit that I enjoyed even more the subsequent gig in Willisau, Switzerland, with the collective group I'm a part of called Bluiett/Jackson/Thiam, most likely because of the increasing pleasure I derive from performing my own music. What was perhaps even more interesting than the actual tour (as often seems the case, for some reason with me?) was my "routing" to get where I needed to go: my first round-the-world itinerary, from NY-Portland-Tokyo-Zurich (Willisau)- NY, heading west, west, west. The Tokyo-Zurich portion was particularly perilous - in order to make the Willisau gig, I needed to cut short David's tour, and I, in fact, left, right in the middle of the 2nd set of the tour's 3rd last night. I basically played my tune "Peace-Song" with the group, and, after a particularly long solo, got up, waved, and headed straight for the bus station. Because we were actually in Osaka, I was originally scheduled to take an overnight train to get to Tokyo airport the next morning. But there was a huge typhoon right in the path of the train route I was supposed to take. Instead, I boarded an overnight Japanese bus (much more "high-tech" and organized than your average Greyhound), and arrived at the Tokyo bus station on schedule the next morning. After avoiding a typhoon, while trying to check in my bags (I eventually gave up since they were going to charge me literally $900 overweight!) I felt the entire terminal rumble ominously - it turns out that Tokyo had just been hit with a 5.4 Richter scale earthquake - not a major one, of course, but enough to unnerve me since it was my first such experience. At any rate, I subway'd to Tokyo airport, flew 12 hours to Zurich, was picked up and driven the 90 minutes to Willisau, and then performed with Bluiett/Jackson/Thiam a couple of hours later. So quite the adventure, but thankfully culminated with some enjoyable music-making which was well received...