Biography

Multitalented composer, arranger, music educator, and jazz percussionist Ali Jackson is the ultimate modernist drummer of our times. He is considered to be one of the most versatile and innovative musicians of our times. From performance stages in the U.S., to historic concert halls in Europe, and outdoor venues in Canada, Asia, or Africa, he has gained a reputation of performing with remarkable technique, originality, and deeply felt passion. Jackson is known to create a strong portrait of emotions through his playing—with vivid dynamism, energy, intensity and technique. The rhythm of music is all around us, beating and vibrating in everything that we encounter. It informs who we are as citizens of a global community. With this in mind, Jackson, uses the compelling and pulsating sounds of bebop, swing, funk, ballet, gospel, and classical influences to make us feel music in everything that we do. This 2012-13 season marks his 7th year as principal drum chair with the internationally recognized Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. He continues to follow in the tradition of important drummers to bring a deeper, fuller expression of music and life, sound and rhythm to audiences across the world.

Projects

Ali Jackson Quartet

Ali Jackson is one of most dynamic musicians on earth. He is the core of the great Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He dazzles with his percussive musicality. His groove and creativity are unique. Ali Jackson Quartet represent the heart beat of classic groove with American songbook. Ali bridges the history of Jazz to the future of classic American music.

Where art is entertaining and the feeling of Swing is omni present.

Ali brings the infectious spirit of the beat and the lyrical expressions of life resonate deep in the soul.
A tidal wave of soul, incessant with diversity. All tempos will captivate any audience. Ali Jackson, communicator of spirit and good vibes. Master of the dynamic heartbeat of Jazz. Ali Jackson grooves memories are made of.

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Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

Formed by Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis from members of his septet and surviving members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) is one of the world’s finest working big bands.

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Formed by Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis from members of his septet and surviving members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO) is one of the world’s finest working big bands.

The members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra are 15 of the best soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers in jazz. In residence since 1988, it is widely regarded as the ‘finest big band in the world today’ (Daily Telegraph, UK). This remarkably versatile band celebrates jazz’s large-ensemble tradition by performing a vast repertoire of masterpieces by legends of the genre, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Billy Strayhorn, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, Chick Corea, Oliver Nelson, and many others, as well as original works and arrangements. Guest conductors have included Benny Carter, John Lewis, Jimmy Heath, Chico O’Farrill, Ray Santos, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Faddis, Robert Sadin, David Berger, Gerald Wilson, and Loren Schoenberg.

The JLCO has performed collaborations with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Russian National Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston, Chicago and London Symphony Orchestras, the Orchestra Esperimentale in São Paolo, Brazil, and others. In 2006, the JLCO collaborated with Ghanaian drum collective Odadaa!, led by Yacub Addy, to perform Congo Square, a composition Marsalis and Addy co-wrote and dedicated to Marsalis’ native New Orleans. The JLCO performed Marsalis’ symphony, Swing Symphony, with the Berlin Philharmonic in Berlin and with the New York Philharmonic in New York City in 2010, and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Los Angeles in 2011. Swing Symphony is a Co-Commission by the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and The Barbican Centre.

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Yes! Trio

Three musical masters, each with a command of his respective instrument whether performing solo, as leader or as accompanist, the Yes! trio embodies the very lifeblood and enduring purpose of jazz. Omer Avital (bass), Aaron Goldberg (piano), and Ali Jackson (drums), represent 20 years of shared experience that is as diverse and vibrant as their individual backgrounds. Avital, an Israeli of Yemeni/Moroccan descent; Jackson, a Detroit-raised Black American with Islamic roots, and Goldberg, a Jewish Bostonian, bring a tremendous wealth of experience to their first recording as a trio, Yes! (Sunnyside)

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Three musical masters, each with a command of his respective instrument whether performing solo, as leader or as accompanist, the Yes! trio embodies the very lifeblood and enduring purpose of jazz. Omer Avital (bass), Aaron Goldberg (piano), and Ali Jackson (drums), represent 20 years of shared experience that is as diverse and vibrant as their individual backgrounds. Avital, an Israeli of Yemeni/Moroccan descent; Jackson, a Detroit-raised Black American with Islamic roots, and Goldberg, a Jewish Bostonian, bring a tremendous wealth of experience to their first recording as a trio, Yes! (Sunnyside)


Yes!’ familiarity and flow is founded in the trio’s shared history. The members of the trio met in the early 90s during their formative years at Manhattan School of Music, the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and eventually, on the road. After many gigs working together and apart the trio first recorded together on Avital’s 2006 release, The Ancient Art of Giving. Additionally, Avital, Goldberg, and Jackson have stellar credits as both leaders and sidemen. Goldberg has recorded four albums as a leader and has been a regular member of groups led by Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Al Foster and a co-leader of projects with Guillermo Klein. Jackson is a longstanding member of Wynton Marsalis’ small groups and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Avital, with eight album credits as a leader, is one of the busiest bassists and project leaders in jazz, as a collaborator with such NYC peers as Jason Lindner and Avishai Cohen, as well as a variety of Middle Eastern and North African artists, and alongside Roy Haynes and Jimmy Cobb. But there is an undeniable quality to their work as Yes! that is not present on their other recordings or shared pursuits.

“We each have our individual projects as leaders,” Goldberg says, “but nevertheless this band has been a band for almost 20 years without ever recording in the studio. The songs that we recorded were simply songs that we all loved and wanted to record at that moment. Some were familiar, others were new. We just wanted to go in there and play, i.e., we wanted to make a ‘playing’ record that represented what we do organically without a lot of conceptual planning.”

“Elasticity is one of our great strengths as a trio,” Jackson adds. “As our professional artistic experiences have increased over the years so has our artistic ambition. We’re using international folk music and music from other cultures inside the fundamental and primary elements of jazz, blues and swing. Out of all of these ideas and concepts we always arrive at a feel-good vibe and swinging music. When we play together there is only one rule – fun!”

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Quotes About Ali

… Ali Jackson generates a subtle but irresistible force when he plays, making even the smallest gestures advance his agenda of locomotion.

Nate Chinen, NY Times

Endorsements

Ali Jackson is endorsed by:

  • Yamaha
  • Remo-Logo2

  • Regal Tips

Hi-Res Photos

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