Alexandra Jackson is a new singer and songwriter from Atlanta. A classically trained pianist, as a child her household was filled with the music of Miles Davis, Earth, Wind & Fire and Michael Jackson, as well as that of Johnny Hartman, Luciano Pavarotti and Antonio Carlos Jobim. The youngest daughter of Atlanta’s first African-American mayor, the late Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr., and businesswoman and NPR personality Valerie Richardson Jackson … her grand aunt was Mattiwilda Dobbs, the African American coloratura soprano who was one of the first black singers to enjoy a major international career in opera. Alexandra studied Jazz at the University of Miami, where she was exposed to a wealth of music, including Brazilian Jazz and MPB — performing with Latin bands and Brazilian ensembles. After finishing college, Alexandra moved to Los Angeles, where she spent time as a working musician. She then returned to Atlanta to begin performing in Jazz festivals in both the U.S. and in Europe.
She channels all of these experiences into her life and music … “My musical influences have provided me with a broad taste in what I listen to and how I write and think about music. I love the music of Ivan Lins, Djavan, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, as well as that of Sarah Vaughan, Oscar Peterson, Take 6, Tony Bennett and Chaka Khan. And, as a member of Generation X, I also embrace the music of Maxwell, D’Angelo, the Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai … It really just goes on and on.”
Indeed, today’s music-listening culture has been increasingly intrigued by the hybridization of styles, such as hip-hop intersecting with jazz and classical connecting to R&B. But the most vital genre-blending sound in our global reality is created by the crosscurrents of cultural music. What used to be deceptively categorized as “world music,” the new and vibrant sounds of today are best described by the iconic Brazilian songwriter/singer Ivan Lins as “total music”— an instrumental elixir of music from around the world.
As such, different idioms of Brazilian music come to life in Ms. Jackson’s contemporary delivery of 17 songs on Legacy & Alchemy — each with an in-depth story as the backdrop — which in essence relaunches the rich music legacy of the country as a contemporary force.
“There’s a huge melting pot of music in our world today,” says the Atlanta-based singer. “My album offers the opportunity for people to step outside the box. It’s not just jazz, not the blues, not soul, not bossa nova, not samba, but it’s a mix of them all.”
“Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy”
Alexandra Jackson’s debut project: “Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy” channels her four primary musical loves and experiences: Brazilian Music, American Jazz & Soul, NeoSoul and London Soul Jazz … into a music alchemy intended for contemporary audiences worldwide.
The project pays homage to Brazil’s music legacy and its legends, and offers a path forward with the music … featuring the appearances of music legends: the late Miles Davis, the late Antonio Carlos Jobim, the late Al Jarreau, the late Rod Temperton, the late Oscar Castro-Neves, Ivan Lins, Dona Ivone Lara, Carlinhos Brown, Banda Black Rio, Hubert Laws, Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Siedah Garrett and The Jobim Trio.
Recorded over three years in Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Atlanta, London, New York and Chicago, the project was produced by Robert Hebert and Larry Williams with co-producers the late Rod Temperton, Chris Walker, Arthur Maia, Ricardo Silveira and Max Viana. The star musician ensemble includes the producers, Robertinho Silva, Darryl Jones, Teo Lima, Armando Marcal, Marco Brito, Marcelo Martins, Jesse Sadoc, Orquestra Atlantica, Pretinho da Serrinha, Darryl Tookes, Curtis King, Paulo Calasans, Marcelo Mariano and Maestro Charles Floyd conducting The Bossa Nova Noites Orquestra.
In speaking about the recording of the project … Ms. Jackson says, “This experience was poignant and quite meaningful to me. These songs and the stories behind each is why I’m so passionate about this project. I’m hoping to take this music and transport it to reach millions of people. Brazil’s music deserves that and more.”