Ron Jackson (jazz musician)

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Ron Jackson
Ron Jackson headshot with guitar.jpg
Background information
Born (1964-07-27) July 27, 1964 (age 52)
Manila, Philippines
Origin New York City
Genres Jazz, hard bop, swing
Occupation(s) Composer, arranger, instructor
Instruments 6-string guitar, 7-string guitar, electric bass
Years active 1980s–present
Labels Muse, Roni

Ron Jackson (born 1964) is an American jazz guitarist, composer, arranger, and instructor.

Early life and career[edit]

Jackson was born in the Philippines on July 27, 1964, where his father was serving with the US Marines in Vietnam. He began playing the guitar at the age of 11[1][2] and played his first professional performance at the age of 15. He enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in 1982, concentrating on composition and arranging.[2] In 1985 he left his graduate studies[3] and spent two years in Paris where he began playing the electric bass. In 1987 he moved to New York City and resumed playing guitar.[1][2] As a jazz guitarist he began touring North America and Europe.[3]

Recording and touring career[edit]


In 1991 Jackson released A Guitar Thing at the age of 27, with collaborators including Benny Green, Lonnie Plaxico, and Cecil Brooks III.[4] This was his debut album as leader,[1] and debuted at #26 on the R&R National Airplay chart.[5] He followed this up with the album Thinking of You, which he also released on Muse Records.[6] In the early 1990s Jackson fronted the Ron Jackson Quartet.[7] In 1995 Jackson joined the group 5 Guitars Play Mingus, playing alongside Russell Malone, leader Peter Leitch, David Gilmore, and Jack Wilkins, in New York venues like the ArtsCenter.[8] He soon released an album of duets with Rufus Reid called Song for Luis.[1] In 1996 took first prize in the Heritage International Jazz Guitar Competition.[2] As his career has progressed he has continued to work alternative music gigs such as subbing in orchestral pits, playing weddings and other parties, working in jam bands, and other positions. He was also a member of the Rufus Reid Trio as well as the Randy Weston Group.[9] In 1999 Jackson released the album Concrete Jungle with Nicki Parrott.[10]


After the release of Concrete Jungle, Jackson formed his own label Roni Music, and has since released his further albums independently.[11] In 2003 Jackson released the album The Dream I had, a combination of jazz standards and original compositions.[12] In 2008 he released the album Flubby Dubby[13] and in 2011 he released the album Burning Gums, the eponymous debut album of the group of the same name.[14] He has toured and recorded as a member of several groups, including the Greg Lewis Organ Monk Trio,[15] and has played regularly in New York City at jazz clubs like Birdland, Iridium Jazz Club, 55 Bar, and the Blue Note Jazz Club.[16] Acts and musicians Jackson has played with include Randy Weston, Oliver Lake, James Spaulding, Jimmy McGriff, Melvin Rhyne, Lonnie Smith, Benny Golson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dewey Redman, Gary Bartz, Ralph Peterson, Jr.,[11] and Greg Lewis.[17]


Jackson is a jazz educator and guitar instructor. He has held faculty positions at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Wells Fargo Jazz For Teens Program, the Brooklyn–Queens Conservatory of Music,[18] and Jazz At Lincoln Center.[19] He is also a contributor for Acoustic Guitar Magazine.[20]

Discography as leader[edit]

  • A Guitar Thing (Muse, 1991)
  • Thinking of You (Muse, 1993)
  • Song for Luis (Mastermix, 1996)
  • Concrete Jungle (Airmen, 1999)
  • The Dream I Had (Roni, 2003)
  • Flubby Dubby (Roni, 2008)
  • Burning Gums (Roni, 2011)
  • Akustik InventYours (Roni, 2014)[21]


  1. ^ a b c d Charles Alexander (2003). Masters of Jazz Guitar: The Story of the Players and Their Music. Belafon Books. p. Chapter 21. 
  2. ^ a b c d Maurice J. Summerfield (1998). The Jazz Guitar. Ashley Mark Publishing Company. p. 101. 
  3. ^ a b Ed Benson (November 1996). "Ron Jackson". Just Jazz Guitar. pp. 21–22. 
  4. ^ Josef Woodard (1991). "Ron Jackson A Guitar Thing". Down Beat. p. 31. 
  5. ^ "January 29, 1993 radio airplay chart". R&R National Airplay chart. January 29, 1993. 
  6. ^ "Ron Jackson: Thinking of You". Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ Bruce Lambert (December 11, 1994). "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: FIFTH AVENUE; Museums Offering A Little Night Music To Lure a New Crowd". New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ Owen Cordle (January 1995). "5 NY Guitars Play Mingus + More". Down Beat. p. 52. 
  9. ^ "Jackson comfortable with many genres and leading a classroom". Newark Star-Ledger. May 13–19, 2005. p. Ticket section, page 1. 
  10. ^ Jim Santella (June 2001). "Review: Concrete Jungle". Cadence Magazine. p. 48. 
  11. ^ a b Scott Yanow (2013). The 342 Great Jazz Guitarists. Backbeat Books. p. 112. 
  12. ^ "Ron Jackson: The Dream I had". Vintage Guitar. January 2004. p. 148. 
  13. ^ Robert Iannapollo (January 2010). "Ron Jackson reviews". Cadence Magazine. pp. 65–66. 
  14. ^ Don Lerman (October 2011). "Ron Jackson Burning Gums". Cadence Magazine. p. 255. 
  15. ^ Chris Robinson (December 21, 2010). "CG: Greg Lewis Organ Monk Trio to Play at 55 Bar, 12/22". Down Beat. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  16. ^ Marilyn Lehren (October 13, 2002). "Swinging With the Masters". New York Times. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Ron Jackson". Reunion Blues. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
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External links[edit]