Spring, 2012
D.D. Jackson 

Head image from ddjacksoncomposer

Composer for Television, Film & Media

Jazz Pianist, Composer & Educator



 It's been a busy past few months, from live performances with Questlove of "The Roots" and at the Apollo Theater, to some fun educational activities at Hunter College, the planning of my new online music school (the Living Jazz Institute), and some exciting children's music awards news. As always, this newsletter is to keep you abreast of these and my other creative activities, and to (of course) encourage you to keep me in mind for any of your composing, arranging, production and performing needs! 


Performances with: Questlove at BAM; the Apollo Theater, and More


Last month I was thrilled to be asked to take part in "Shuffle Culture" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music opera house, a project put together by Questlove of "The Roots" (who - I'm flattered to say - called me in a recent tweet "the most dangerous pianist ever"!) The concert involved an eclectic array of artists, from Andrew Cyr's Metropolis Ensemble, to Reggie Watts, the alt rock band Deerhoof and well beyond. In addition to being asked to do some string arrangements and transcriptions, I was especially featured as pianist on a "deconstruction" of Scott Joplin's rag "Elite Syncopations" (in a duet with Questlove on drums). Watch the actual performance below:


D.D. Jackson with Questlove at BAM
performing with Questlove at BAM


A few weeks later, I was a Special Guest of the Apollo Theater in Harlem with my wunderkind 11-year old prodigy jazz piano student Matt Whitaker, as part of the Jazz Shrines Festival taking place during their Amateur Night. Matt and I each played solo pieces accompanied by the house band, culminating afterwards in a duo performance with Matt on B3 and myself on piano (I can rightfully say that I was "smoked" by an 11-year old (!), a fact of which I'm actually quite proud :-))...Matt is keeping a busy schedule, but I'm looking forward to playing with him again in Capri, Italy, later this summer..

D.D. Jackson & Matt Whitaker at the Apollo
 with my student Matt Whitaker at the Apollo Theater
 Education News, plus Coming Soon: my online Living Jazz Institute     


Rhazel at Hunter On the education front, I was excited to round out my academic year at Hunter College (where I'm on faculty teaching part-time, in addition to my work at the Harlem School of the Arts) by bringing in special guest Rahzela true "human beatboxer". Rahzel performed in my Popular Music Combos class Final Concert, and then came in the next day for a wonderfully warm and forthcoming chat about his career, the music business, and his approach to his unique craft.


Hunter Pop Combos CD Cover
I also recently finished mixing and producing our annual Hunter Popular 
Music Combos CD, a project I've been embarking upon each year to give my students some "real world" studio experience. Listen to the entire CD on Youtube (featuring songs by Adele, Beyonce, Tom Waits, plus students' original compositions, some of which we developed in class).


Living Jazz InstituteIn other Education News, I'm also excited to announce the upcoming launch (coming soon!) of my Living Jazz Institute - an online music school for aspiring and existing jazz pianists, composers and other musicians. It is my intention with this site to provide Ustream group lessons and a host of video-based and other content devoted to improvisation, finding one's own voice, composition, arrangement, the music business and beyond, with as conceptually open-minded an approach as possible. More to come on this front... 
Jazz Website  


  • Issue: 4
D.D. Jackson photo
In This Issue
Performances with: Questlove at BAM; the Apollo Theater, and More
Education News, plus: Coming Soon - my online Living Jazz Institute
Children's Music News
Join My Mailing List
The Wonder Pets
Emmy nominations for The Wonder Pets & 3rd & Bird!

Children's Music News


 Finally, in Children's Music News, I was excited to hear that two shows for which I have helped compose music were recently nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards in the category of "Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series" (for both  3rd & Bird! and The Wonder Pets), plus for "Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition" (for the Wonder Pets - it won the other 3 times it was previously nominated in this category). 


Watch one of my 3rd & Bird! episodes that features my music:


 3rd & Bird Video


Visit my Composing for Media Website:

Composing for Media Website  


Join My Mailing List

D.D. Jackson
email: dd@ddjackson.com
film/t.v./media website: http://ddjacksoncomposer.com
jazz website: http://ddjackson.com
tel: 718-335-0534
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