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Javon Jackson
Javon Jackson  Biography
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Biography
Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson was born in 1965 in Carthage, Missouri. After moving to Cleveland, his family finally settled in Denver, where he remained until he met Branford Marsalis while playing with the McDonaldís All-American Band. Marsalis encouraged the young saxophonist to attend Bostonís prestigious Berklee School of Music, which he did from 1984-86.

Originally an alto saxophonist, the young Javonís early interest in Jazz was stimulated by his parents who were big fans of Gene Ammons and Ahmad Jamal. He soon became enamored with the work of Sonny Stitt, but as he grew older, his discovery of Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson and John Coltrane resulted in his switch to the bigger, more muscular horn.

While at Berklee, he studied with the renowned saxophone pedagogue Joe Viola, as well as saxophonist Billy Pierce and pianist Donald Brown, both of whom had played with the legendary Art Blakeyís Jazz Messengers. Brown was instrumental in connecting Javon with Buhaina, and after sitting in with the Messengers one night in 1987 at New Yorkís Mikellís, he was invited to join the band. He remained with Blakey until the great drummerís death in 1980, playing alongside future heavyweights like saxophonist Kenny Garrett, trumpeters Wallace Roney and Terence Blanchard and pianist Benny Green. Learning "more in one week with Blakey, than anywhere else in my career," Javon views that three plus yearsí experience as profoundly impacting on his musical sensibility.

He went on to work with major artists like Nat Adderley, Richard Davis and Charlie Hadenís Liberation Music Orchestra, and most importantly with two other legendary Jazz figures, Freddie Hubbard and the amazing Elvin Jones, who played on Javonís first solo recording, 'Me and Mr. Jones' for Criss Cross.

In 1993, he signed with Blue Note and his first CD, 'When the Time is Right' was produced by the late, great Betty Carter. His fifth and latest recording for Blue Note is 'Pleasant Valley' with his new band (Larry Goldings, organ; Dave Stryker, guitar; and his longtime drummer, Billy Drummond). Javon has also played with the Blue Note All-Stars in addition to touring with his own band and his busy work as a sideman.

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