Peg + Cat Muslim holiday episode, "You & Me" movie score, performances and more
Newsletter [11/22/2016] 
Emmy Award-Winning Composer/Producer/Jazz Pianist

It's been a roller coaster last few weeks in the U.S. - I certainly hope everyone is doing well, and I send unqualified, absolutely positive vibes for Thanksgiving. Before the holiday weekend, I thought I'd also slip in a quick newsletter just to update you on some of my recent goings-on.  As always, I should add to please keep me in mind for any of your producing , composing , arranging and performing needs, as I'm always on the lookout for new projects and  potential collaborations ! Also be sure to visit  for updated info on all my activities (including my new Composer-to-Composer Podcast )!

Peg & Cat Episode Devoted to Muslim Holiday "Eid Al-Adha" Premieres

Perhaps especially in light of recent events, I felt proud to have participated as composer in a special "Peg + Cat" episode devoted to the Muslim holiday of "Eid Al-Adha" (a t.v. series for which I recently received my first Emmy Award as composer). Click below to read an L.A. Times article detailing the delighted reaction of one Muslim family:

 Also premiering recently were episodes I composed featuring pioneering African-American ballet dancer Misty Copeland ("The Dance Problem") and Emily Dickenson ("The Poetry Problem"). Kudos as always also to show co-creators Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson, as well as Music Director J. Walter Hawkes and the whole team!

Speaking of J. Walter, I also had the pleasure of sitting in with his killer band at the Peg + Cat "Wrap Party" (in Brooklyn at The Way Station), where we did renditions of our own Peg songs!:
(l-r: Andy Burns, Jim Whtney, J. Walter Hawkes, me. Photo by Jen Oxley)
Other news from the "children's writing" sphere include the premiere of a new "Halloween-themed" song for Sesame Workshop that  I composed/performed/produced (and for which I also sang backup vocals :-)), written with lyricist Carl Kissin and featuring vocalist Marc Thompson. You can view it by clicking below:

Finally, writing-wise I'm excited to have just composed and produced the soundtrack for a new independent film currently being pitched to festivals entitled " You & Me" , written by Alexander Baack with his wife Hillary Baack ( who also stars in the film along with actor  Paul Guyet ). It tells the affecting story of a romance between a blind man and deaf woman (with each of the actors actually blind and deaf in real life). I also penned several original songs for it (with Alex writing lyrics), with my  score featuring a former Harlem School of the Arts student Gabrielle Garo on flute (now studying at the New School), Christian Howes on strings, plus myself on piano and additional instruments (more on this hopefully soon).


It's also been a busy Fall performance-wise. Upcoming is my return to the Blues People Festival International in Newark, NJ, where I'll be appearing with my trio of Vince Ector on drums and Mark Peterson on bass at Nico's Kitchen at NJPAC, 1 Center Street, Newark, NJ on Sunday, Dec. 4th at 12 noon (2 sets).

This past September I also headed back to my (increasingly inviting :-)) home country of Cana da to play at Edmonton's historic Yardbird Suite, with some fantastic Canadian musicians: saxist Jim Brenan, drummer Jonathan McCaslin, and bassist Rubim DeToledo, in a special Tribute to John Coltrane concert in honor of what would have been his 90th birthday that weekend.     Click below for an audio excerpt from our (highly "deconstructed" but fun!) rendition of Coltrane's "Giant Steps":

I also performed recently in an eclectic New Music concert with the Metropolis Ensemble directed by Andrew Cyr, performing solo deconstructed Scott Joplin on piano, and on organ for my arrangement of Funkadelic's " Maggot Brain".

Performing with members of the Metropolis Ensemble (dir. by Andrew Cyr).

Finally, I was honored to have again worked with the great baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett on a couple of occasions (who has been sidelined with illness of late and about whom we are all sending positive vibes every day!) First up was a memorable week of performances in Columbus, OH organized by Michael VanderDoes, also featuring Kidd and Marlon Jordan and Oliver Lake. Click below for a video mini-documentary chronicling a memorable week:
Last month I also had the honor of appearing with Bluiett again in a concert organized  by Muhal Richard Abrams and his historic Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, in a group that also featured killer rising star saxist James Brandon Lewis, bassist Luke Stewart, and drummer Reggie Nicholson.
(l-r: myself, Reggie Nicholson, Bluiett, Luke Stewart, James Brandon Lewis)
Prior to our set, I should add that Muhal managed to thoroughly blow my mind with his own set, in which he truly e ncapsulated in an hour the essence of the AACM conception, with it's seamless merging of notated and improvised elements, and his profound and masterful use of silence!

FORMER STUDENT WE' MCDONALD still going strong on this Fall's "THE VOICE"!

Fiinally, a  student from my former Harlem School of the Arts Composition class (and frequent guest of our Jazz Combo), Wé McDonald, is STILL going strong as a rising star on this t.v. season's " The Voice" (!) Watch her performance of "No Drama", above (and don't forget to vote!)

D.D. Jackson | 646-250-3132 | |

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