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]




[May 8/17, for immediate release]: On May 18 and 19, 2017, New York-based, Juno and Emmy award-winning jazz pianist/composer D.D. Jackson will return to perform in his hometown of Ottawa for the first time in almost 10 years, joined in part by bassist John Geggie (formerly of the popular “Geggie Concert Series” of NAC Fourth Stage).

First, on Thursday May 18th at 7:30 pm, Jackson will be the special guest of the Highlights Concert of the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival, performing solo piano. The concert will take place May 18th at Algonquin Commons Theatre, 1385 Woodroffe Ave., Building E, Ottawa, ON, with ticket info available here: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1482985

When asked to participate, Jackson leapt at the chance. “I have so many fond memories of playing in the Festival (back when it was called the “Ottawa Music Festival”!), and can legitimately say that it’s truly where I first got my start as a performer, from an extremely young age into high school. It’s satisfying to see the Festival continue to thrive, and I’ll be excited to premiere some new material I’ve been working on lately in anticipation of recording a new jazz album soon!”  

Then, after a masterclass at Canterbury High School the morning of Friday, May 19th (closed to the public), Jackson is excited to perform with his former bandmate and Ottawa jazz bassist John Geggie, in a special, intimate concert at the 45-seat “GigSpace”, featuring solo piano originals, as well as some duos with Geggie as his special guest.  The concert takes place on Fri. May 19th, 2017 at 7:30 pm. More info/tix available here: http://gigspaceottawa.com/d-d-jackson-john-geggie/

The performances will mark a return for Jackson to the writing and premiering of original jazz compositions, following a detour the past several years as he delved more into the world of composing for television and film (culminating in his 4th Emmy nomination last month, and his first win last year, for the 7 Emmy-award-winning PBS show “Peg+Cat”). “After settling down and raising our two kids, I found myself wanting to be more in one place and to challenge myself in new creative directions, and writing for t.v. and media has filled the role perfectly for the past several years, even as I continued to occasionally perform jazz. Two events, however, have really combined to rekindle in my a passionate desire to express myself again more fully in the jazz sphere. The first was the return to New York of the great tenor saxophonist David Murray, with whom I just completed a successful week at the Village Vanguard: http://tinyurl.com/khxgllx

The second (oddly!) is the frustrating ascendancy of Donald Trump, which has renewed in me a desire to ‘vent’ and to more than ever truly express myself creatively, resulting in a string of new jazz compositions, many of which I plan to premiere at the two performances!”


After receiving his B.Music with High Distinction in Classical Piano from Indiana University, and his Masters in Jazz from the Manhattan School of Music, the Ottawa-born, New York-based, Emmy-winning composer D.D. Jackson began his career as a jazz pianist/composer, and went on to record, perform, and tour around the world with some of the most acclaimed names in jazz, including: drummers Jack Dejohnette, Milford Graves, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Hart; saxophonists James Carter, David Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake, Chico Freeman, Carlos Ward, Jane Bunnett, Chris Potter, and Dewey Redman; trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah; trombonists Craig Harris and Frank Lacy; violinist Billy Bang; flutist James Newton; poet Amiri Baraka; percussionists Kahil El'Zabar and Mino Cinelu; and many more. He also has collaborated frequently with Questlove and “The Roots”, most recently appearing with them on piano at the theater of Madison Square Garden for the John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert, at Radio City Music Hall (for which he also wrote 30-piece orchestral arrangements), and as an arranger/producer/pianist on their past 2 CD’s.

Jackson has also recorded 12 jazz CD’s as leader or co-leader (including for Justin Time Records and for the major label BMG) featuring his original compositions, ranging from his Juno Award-winning solo piano CD “…so far”, to his larger-scale meditation on the events of 9/11 entitled “Suite for New York”; and two operas, including “Quebecite”[pronounced “KAY-beh-SEE-tay”] (based in part on his African-American father and Chinese mother), and “Trudeau: Long March/Shining Path” (about the father of Canada’s current leader, Justin Trudeau), both written with librettist George Elliott Clarke (the recently-appointed “Poet Laureate of Canada”).

Jackson in recent years also began composing music for television, film and other media, and last year received his first Emmy Award for composition (for his writing on the PBS show “Peg + Cat”), after 2 previous Emmy nominations as composer, and a 4th nomination this year for “Best Song” with Peg+Cat co-creator Billy Aronson. He has also written regularly for both “The Wonder Pets” (Nickelodeon) (which won 4 consecutive Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Musical Direction and Composition), and several other shows, and has done numerous commissions, most recently for The Ahn Trio and The Metropolis Ensemble. As a writer, Jackson has also penned articles for such publications as the Village Voice and DownBeat magazine (for which he maintained a popular column on his experiences as a jazz musician entitled “Living Jazz”, for 5 years).

As an educator, Jackson has taught part-time at Hunter College for the past 7 years, teaching History of Jazz and directing Popular Music Combos, and was recently awarded the Hunter College 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching (part-time). He was also previously the Chair of Jazz and Contemporary Studies at the Harlem School of the Arts (where his past students include 15-year-old prodigy and Hammond and Yamaha Artist Matthew Whitaker, and current “The Voice” rising star contestant We’ McDonald). Website: http://ddjackson.com


Double bassist John Geggie is an internationally established performer and composer. He studied at Indiana University with Lawrence Hurst and Bruce Bransby with jazz studies including work with David Baker, Gary Peacock, Palle Danielsson and Anders Jormin. As a performer, he works regularly with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa) and Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra. Current projects include the Algonquin Ensemble (with Terry Tufts and Kathryn Briggs), the Crossroads Quartet (with Petr Cancura, Roddy Ellias and Greg Ritchie) as well as the John Geggie Journey Band.  John has recorded or performed with a who's who of creative improvised music: Bela Fleck, Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder, Craig Taborn, Sheila Jordan, David Murray, Matt Brubeck, Marilyn Crispell, Cuong Vu, D.D. Jackson, Mark Dresser, Vic Juris, Billy Hart,
Andrew Cyrille and Grammy-winner Ted Nash. He has hosted the Ottawa Jazz Festival Late Night Jam Series for over 15 years. John will be releasing a new trio this summer (with Roddy Ellias and Joel Frahm). John Geggie is on faculty at the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam and the Conservatoire de Musique de

D.D. Jackson
email: dd@ddjackson.com
website: http://ddjackson.com
Tel: 646-250-3132