Michael Gregory Jackson


One of the most influential and innovative guitarists to emerge during New York’s avant-garde loft scene in the 70s, master guitarist, composer, and improviser Michael Gregory Jackson has spanned and at times defied musical genres. He has embraced everything from avant-garde, 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. In his early career, Rolling Stone magazine called Jackson “the most original jazz guitarist to emerge since the sixties.”

Jackson’s brilliant technique on electric and acoustic, flavored with quicksilver runs, volume pedal swells and sudden shifts from crystalline melodic to fuzzy dissonance, has been name-checked as a critical influence on such 6-string greats as Bill Frisell, Vernon Reid, Marc Ribot, Mary Halvorson and more.

Michael has worked and/or recorded with luminaries across the musical spectrum including Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake, Wadada Leo Smith, Nile Rodgers, Anthony Braxton, Will Calhoun, Nels Cline, Nona Hendryx, Jack Dejohnette, Steve Winwood, David Murray, Walter Becker, Buster Williams, Carlos Santana, Marcus Miller, Henry Threadgill, Omar Hakim, Vernon Reid, and Patti LaBelle, to name a few.

Michael has been signed to Arista, Island, BMG, RCA, ENJA, and IAI Records. His recent credits as a producer include Pulitzer Prize nominee Wadada Leo Smith, for whom he produced two critically acclaimed discs. Jackson has taught and led creative workshops in the U.S. and abroad, including faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music, visiting artist at CalArts (California Institute for the Arts), guiding artist at Woodstock’s Creative Music Studio and visiting artist at The Copenhagen Conservatory of Music in Denmark. His annual travels to Denmark to perform and collaborate have led to his most recent recordings, “Liberty” EME 2013, and his soon to be released Michael Gregory Jackson’s Clarity Quartet CD, “After Before”.

In this live video, Michael is using the Disnortion (overdrive, fuzz and octava) and Echolution 2 (tight delay):