Javon Jackson

Javon Anthony Jackson (born June 16, 1965) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist. He played in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers from 1987 until Blakey's death in 1990 and has played with the Harper Brothers, Benny Green, Freddie Hubbard, and Elvin Jones.[1][2]

Javon Jackson
Javon Jackson, Norfolk, Virginia, 2016
Background information
Birth nameJavon Anthony Jackson
Born (1965-06-16) June 16, 1965
Carthage, Missouri, U.S.
GenresJazz, soul
LabelsCriss Cross, Blue Note, Palmetto, Smoke Sessions
Associated actsArt Blakey, Hank Jones, Thad Jones

In his solo career, his music has been a mix of hard bop with soul and funk influences. He became chair of the University of Hartford's Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz in 2013.[3]

Early life

Jackson was born on June 16, 1965, in Carthage, Missouri,[4] and brought up in Denver.[5] His mother played the piano, and his father played trumpet,[5] but Jackson began playing alto saxophone[4] aged 10.[5] At the age of 16, he changed to tenor saxophone and in his teens, he was taught by pianist Billy Wallace.[4] He was briefly enrolled at the University of Denver,[5] before spending part of 1985–86 at the Berklee College of Music, which he abandoned to join drummer Art Blakey's band.[4]

Jackson finished his undergraduate degree and obtained a master's degree from the State University of New York at Purchase, where he later taught. He now is the head of the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School at the University of Hartford.[5]


As leader

  • Me and Mister Jones (Criss Cross, 1992)
  • Burnin′ (Criss Cross, 1991) with Billy Pierce
  • When the Time Is Right (Blue Note, 1994)
  • For One Who Knows (Blue Note, 1995)
  • A Look Within (Blue Note, 1996)
  • Good People (Blue Note, 1997)
  • Pleasant Valley (Blue Note, 1999)
  • Easy Does It (Palmetto, 2002)
  • Have You Heard (Palmetto, 2004)
  • Now (Palmetto, 2006)
  • Once upon a Melody (Palmetto, 2008)
  • Celebrating John Coltrane (Solid Jackson, 2012)
  • Lucky 13 (Solid Jackson, 2012)
  • Expression (Smoke Sessions, 2014)

As sideman

With Art Blakey

With Ron Carter

With Curtis Fuller

With Louis Hayes

With John Hicks

With Elvin Jones

With New York Unit


  1. "Javon Jackson at All About Jazz". Archived from the original on January 2, 2010. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  2. Yanow, Scott. "Javon Jackson Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  3. Hamad, Michael (December 16, 2013) "Javon Jackson and Curtis Fuller in Old Lyme". The Courant.
  4. Feather, Leonard & Gitler, Ira (1999) The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press.
  5. Yonke, David (November 30, 2006) "Jazz Saxman Javon Jackson Learned from Legends". Toledo Blade. p. E9.
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