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Ronald Shannon Jackson


Drummer, composer and bandleader RONALD SHANNON JACKSON (b. 1940) is a powerful creative force who has made vital contributions to the evolution of jazz.
Since moving to New York in the 1960's, Mr. Jackson has performed with many legendary jazz musicians including Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Kenny Dorham, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ray Bryant, Stanley Turrentine, Bennie Maupin, Shirley Scott and others.
Shannon performed and recorded with three musical revolutionaries who virtually defined jazz in the 1970's - Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, and Ornette Coleman (he is the only musician to perform and record with all three.) (For a comprehensive discography go to: http://northwestern.edu/jazz/artists/jackson.ronald.shannon/discog.html.)

In 1979, armed with this experience, Shannon formed THE DECODING SOCIETY, whose classic LP's, including EYE ON YOU, MANDANCE, STREET PRIEST, BARBEQUE DOG, and WHEN COLORS PLAY, breathed new life intoAmerican music. On 15 albums and countless tours, Shannon helped launch the careers of some of the most talented musicians in jazz, including Vernon Reid, Melvin Gibbs, Akbar Ali, Jef Lee Johnson, Robin Eubanks, Eric Person, and James Carter.
During the 1980's, Shannon traveled to 15 African countries and to India in search of rhythmic and melodic sounds. During his journey, he composed much of the Album WHEN COLORS PLAY.

Shannon's String Quartets and other composed music have been performed by the most noted orchestras in Europe and the United States; at the Tri-City Jazz Festival, the Cologne Jazz Society, WDR(Dusseldorf) and National French Radio.

Mr. Jackson has received numerous awards and honors worldwide, including an NEA Jazz Composer Grant; three Meet the Composer awards, Jazz Artist of the Year-Tokyo, the key to the city of Osaka, Japan, an Endowment from the Government of Malaysia, the Texas Music Association Jazz Musician Award, a Letter of Commendation from USIS for concerts given in Malaysia, Thailand, Bangkok, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. His solo album PUTTIN' ON DOG was one of the most played albums on National Public Radio for three years.

As an educator, Shannon has taught seminars at Harvard University, University of Tampa, Pepperdine University, University of Michagan-Ann Arbor, Akron University, Brown University, Uppsala University in Sweden, Bryn Mawr College, Antioch college, Cooper Union-NYC, Bridgeport University, Oberlin College, Grinell College, the Cleveland Jazz Festival and in Indonesia, Tiawan and Malaysia. He was the only American representative at the 1993 World Drum Expo in South Korea.

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