Spring, 2015
D.D. Jackson 

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Composer - Arranger - Producer - Performer - Educator     




[Sorry to send twice - just updated the Video Reel link, below, since people were reporting that it wasn't playing!]:


Now that we've finally moved past winter, I wanted to share with you some of my latest news (below)!:


My First Emmy Nomination as Composer

I was excited to recently be nominated for my first Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Music Direction and Composition, as part of the composing team for "Peg + Cat" (PBS) (kudos also to Music Director J. Walter Hawkes, fellow composer Martin Erskine, Music Supervisor Steven Rebollido, and the shows creators, Jen Oxley and Billy Aronson!) The show won 3 Emmys in its first season last year, and is up for 6 total Emmy's this year, including Outstanding Program in its category. 

This news has really been the highlight for me of a diverse musical journey I've been on doing music for media  in a variety of contexts the past few years, ever since first branching out from my roots as a jazz pianist/composer/recording artist.

Just the past few years alone, for example, I've been privileged to write music for the multiple Emmy-winning show The Wonder Pets, to produce, arrange and compose for The Roots on their past 2 CD's (one of them Grammy-nominated) and to do full orchestra arrangements of their music and perform with them at Radio City Music Hall; to develop a stage musical in Korea for English Egg, do Vocal Directing and editing at New York's Edge Studios, and to write, arrange and produce songs and underscore for a movie musical with my friend and director Alex Baack. Certainly, I look forward to continuing these sorts of pursuits, even as I attempt to also branch out into writing music for documentaries, as well as more film and television.

To this end (and as always!), I encourage anyone needing such services to feel free to email me, as I would be happy to potentially be involved in your project, as well!

Harlem School of the Arts Prep Auditions


I also wanted to spend part of this newsletter speaking a bit about
Jazz and Contemporary Studies program at Harlem School of the Arts, for which I serve as Chair. This year I'm proud to say that every graduating member of my Advanced Jazz Combo has been accepted and received scholarships into prestigious music institutions, including the Berklee College of Music (3 students!), and the New School, with another - Matthew Whitaker, recently completing the recording of his first professional CD, produced by Ray Chew (of Showtime at the Apollo). 

Now the school is re-upping for next year  and we have potential openings for full scholarships. If you know of ANY talented jazz performer (or singer/songwriter) - age 12-17 (no older than a high school Senior starting this Fall) who might want to take advantage of a tuition-free course of study in Jazz and Contemporary Studies (or Composition and Songwriting) at HSA, please encourage them to sign up for the Prep Auditions, which take place May 4-8, 2015. I plan to teach private piano, composition/arranging, and direct the Jazz Combo, among my other activities (mostly on Saturdays), and the faculty also features such renowned players as saxophonist and recent Doris Duke Artist recipient Yosvany Terry and drummer Reggie Nicholson (definitely one of my favorite drummers!) The school is also holding Prep auditions in their other disciplines of Dance, Drama, and the Visual Arts, as well as classical music study. Please spread the word (and also let me know if you have any questions about the Jazz and Composition program!)

Also: catch the HSA Jazz Combo for our 3rd appearance at Minton's in Harlem, this Mother's day brunch on Sunday, May 10th from 12-4 pm.



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Issue 11
D.D. Jackson
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Hollywood Musical!


    I also wanted to mention that the film for which I wrote all the music, "Hollywood Musical!", has now been released on services such as iTunes and Amazon Prime, and the soundtrack is now available on iTunes and Spotify. The film originally came about after its writer and director, Alexander Baack, was bemoaning the challenge of finding backers for his various projects, and I casually suggested that he should  just pick up a camera and start shooting. A couple of weeks later he had a script (!), and we ended up knocking out the 9 songs that ended up in the movie over a few intense but exhilarating days, with me later performing, recording, and mixing all the backing tracks in my home studio (with a brief flight out to Hollywood in between to record the vocal talent). Although it was done on a shoestring and my technical chops have since improved, I'm still proud of the results.


"Here I Am" sung by Angela Pupello


My websites:

Composing for Media Website
Composing for Media
Jazz Website
Jazz Website
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D.D. Jackson
email: dd@ddjackson.com
film/t.v./media website: http://ddjacksoncomposer.com
jazz website: http://ddjackson.com
tel: 973-762-4012