Michael Gregory Jackson

GUITARIST  INNOVATOR  IMPROVISOR  SINGER  COMPOSER  PRODUCER  POET
Latest ReleaseS
MGJ NEWS

8th Annual Yale Jazz Fest

Join us on Saturday night for our closing show, featuring acclaimed guitarist Michael Gregory Jackson. Jackson has tread a winding musical path over his 40-plus year career, embracing everything from creative music, jazz, blues, rock and electronica soundscapes to harmonically rich and lyrically-deep vocal tunes, with the complex arrangements and subtleties that are a signature of his music. Called an “unsung innovator” by Bill Frisell, Jackson was among the generation of jazz guitarists in the 1970s to establish a sound and musical path for the instrument during the heyday of the loft scene. Over the last two decades, Jackson has taught and led creative workshops at a wide variety of institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

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NY Times 5 Things to Do This Weekend

"Each year, the Alternative Guitar Summit celebrates a range of talent, running the gamut between spitfire experimentalists, jazz-rock fusion players and improvisers rooted in global traditions — reflecting the style and convictions of its iconoclastic founder, the guitarist Joel Harrison."

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Sunday 3/21/21 Virtual Visionary Solos - 2pm EST

Featuring: Nguyen Le, Nels Cline, Michael Gregory Jackson, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Mary Halvorson with Tomas Fujiwara, Henry Kaiser, and Anthony Pirog.

This bold, visionary array of guitarists from around the world, whether allied with jazz, rock, classical, world, or avant garde sounds, will each play a 20 minute set from their homes. All masterful, all different.

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"OPENING", released Saturday March 13, 2021

Announcing the release of "OPENING", Saturday March 13, 2021! LIVE MGJ concert performance from 1977, in Boston, with my lifelong friends Oliver Lake and Stan Strickland, two world renown, very far beyond conventional saxophonists, multi-instrumentalists & composers.

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Press

“MGJ was already doing almost everything I was striving to do. How inspiring and simultaneously daunting!”

- Nels Cline - February 2015 - Rova Arts

“Frequency Equilibrium Koan is a communion of loft jazz musicians who weren’t just among the best of their time, but of ALL time. As Frisell marveled, “I can’t believe this happened more than 40 years ago. It sounds like the future.”

- S. Victor Aaron - Something Else Reviews 1/2021

MGJ is among a generation of guitarists who forged their own path on the instrument in the wake of Jimi Hendrix. No less an authority than Pat Metheny said, “I have always considered him to be one of the most significantly original guitarists of our generation” while Bill Frisell opined, “I believe he’s one of the unsung innovators.”

- Jazziz 2/2021

“Michael Gregory Jackson…first made waves…in New York’s loft-jazz scene of the 1970s. Working alongside such major innovators as Oliver Lake, David Murray, and Wadada Leo Smith, he quietly laid the groundwork for much of what we take for granted in the contemporary jazz-guitar vocabulary.” —National Sawdust, Brooklyn 2019

Michael Gregory Jackson has performed and/or recorded with: Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, Will Calhoun (Living Colour), David Murray, Baikida Carroll, Matt Shipp, Grammy Award Winner Nile Rodgers (Chic, Daft Punk), Pulitzer Prize Winner Anthony Davis,  Carlos Santana, Bernard Edwards (Chic), Vernon Reid (Living Colour), Billy Hart (Wes Montgomery, Wayne Shorter), Nona Hendryx, Kenwood Dennard (Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock), Buster Williams (Herbie Hancock), Steve Winwood (Traffic), Keith Witty (Anthony Braxton, Amel Larrieux, Somi), Nels Cline (Wilco), Walter Becker (Steely Dan), Anthony Braxton, Rakalam Bob Moses, Niels Praestholm, Patti LaBelle, Jack Dejohnette, Anton Fig (Letterman Show), Melle Mel, Omar Hakim (Weather Report, Sting), Jerome Harris, Eddie Henderson, Simon Spang-Hanssen, Amina Claudine Myers, David Sancious (Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel), Obie Award Winner Ntozake Shange, Pulitzer Prize Winner Henry Threadgill, Rodney Holmes, Jimmy Bralower, Nona Hendryx, Kevin Jones, American Book Award WinnerJessica Hagedorn, Ed Blackwell (Ornette Coleman), Steve Thorton (Miles Davis), Anthony Jackson, Gary Bartz (Miles Davis), Tony Thompson (Chic, Robert Palmer, Led Zeppelin), Sammy Figueroa (Miles Davis), Kermit Driscoll (Bill Frisell), Ole Romer, Bernard Davis (Sam and Dave, Mariah Carey), Marty Ehrlich, Karl Berger, Ingrid Berger, Pulitzer Prize Nominee Wadada Leo Smith, Victor Lewis, Grammy Award and American Book Award Winner Thulani Davis, Jeff Bova, Pheeroan aKLaff, Archie Shepp, Amina Claudine Myers, Ronnie Burrage,Phillip Wilson, Jair-Rohm Parker Wells, Alex Cline and many others.

BIO
Poems

folks, lively, living divergent lives,
meandering streams, outflows birthed,
currents of sacred grace,
pouring, every which way, from love

miscellaneous parts, hands, eyes, feet & hearts,
we see, learn life, movements, steps & starts,
answers, question marks & smarts, map your charts

rise up, be there, in your space, beyond the clouds,
speak up, be strong, be proud, know, for sure,
you belong, get focused, get up, yes, take a bow,
​you’re flying now

aware, in here, effervescent bursts,
​hope exceeds control, regardless of shadows,
​specifically, continuously, create,
see, what we are, how we feel,
who we be

Michael Gregory Jackson