TBJ102: Joe Jackson


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TBJ102: Joe Jackson, jazz trombonist, arranger and leader on being in the Airmen of Note, his parents and growing where you're planted

Joe Jackson was born in Dallas, Texas into a musical family; his mother is a former professional clarinetist, and his father, Jim Jackson, a former trombonist with the Fort Worth Symphony, is today a renown recording engineer.

Joe chose the trombone at age 12, and during his high school years was the recipient of three Down Beat Magazine “DeeBee” awards. During his tenure at the University of North Texas, Joe studied with Vern Kagarice, Hal Galper, David Liebman, and Don “Jake” Jacoby, played lead & jazz trombone in the famed One O’Clock Lab Band, and was named the National Association of Jazz Educators 1985 College Musician of the Year.

Joe left UNT in 1990 to join the Maynard Ferguson Band. He spent a year with Ferguson, performing throughout the United States and in Europe. From 1991 to 2011 he was lead trombonist with the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note, and from 2004 to 2011 was the Director of the Airmen of Note. During his tenure as Director, Joe produced the award-winning Jazz Heritage Series heard on 112 radio and media stations worldwide, and eight recordings including “Cool Yule” which climbed to #2 on the JazzWeek chart in December 2010.

As a freelance trombonist and arranger, Joe performs with top East Coast bands including the Woody Herman Orchestra, the David Liebman Big Band & Chaise Lounge.  Additionally, he performs regularly in DC-area theatre productions and is in high demand as a session player. He has contributed hundreds of commissioned arrangements to dozens of ensembles across the country, and his educational arrangements are published by Alfred Music.  Joe has appeared as a clinician & soloist at music festivals across the country.

Joe publishes his website dedicated to serving the trombone community, www.jazztbone.com.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • Euphonium buyback program

  • Tubas with kickstands

  • Swiss Army Knife Gig Machine Person (SAKGMP)

  • Joe's parents

  • Recording with his Dad and the Airmen of Note

  • Getting recycled in basic training

  • "The Terrible Airman" march

  • Basic training philosophy

  • The value in extending his stay in San Antonio

  • The day the drill instructors found out you would outrank them

  • OICU812

  • Sorry A**-ed Individual

  • Downbeat Magazine DB awards

  • The impact and influence of Joe's band directors

  • The Airmen of Note

  • Selling candy

  • "Choir, stand up."

  • Playing with Maynard Ferguson Band

  • A Tale of Two Airmen

  • Becoming the director of the Airmen of Note 2004-2011

  • Programming themed CDs

  • Recording live CDs, especially "Airmen of Note, Live"

  • Glenn Miller

  • "Cool Yule"

  • Growing where you're planted

  • Advantages/disadvantages of having an officer in charge

  • "Earl Williams Trombones, Out of Business Since 1973"

  • Where Joe is playing these days

  • Percentage of classical vs. jazz playing in Joe's current life

  • "Like Wes, but with affirming parents"

  • Joe's transcription work


Joe's site

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Expertly produced by Will Houchin with love, care, and enthusiasm.