The Tennessee Tech University Jazz Band concert set for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, will feature a very special guest. Renowned jazz drummer Duffy Jackson will join the group for the show in the Wattenbarger Auditorium of TTU's Bryan Fine Arts Building.
"Duffy is a world-class drummer and a great showman," said Chris McCormick, professor of jazz studies in TTU's music department and a jazz and classical trumpet performer.
Jackson has been performing since he was four, when his father — legendary jazz bassist Chubby Jackson — gave him his first set of drums because he noticed that his son had a "fantastic feeling for rhythms," he said. By the time he was 18, Jackson was touring the country with Lena Horne, and had made national television appearances on shows like "The Mike Douglas Show" and "I've Got a Secret." By the time he was 20, he was touring with Sammy Davis Jr. and appearing in the popular weekly TV show "Sammy & Company." Jackson has performed with such jazz legends as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, Buddy Rich and Harry (Sweets) Edison. Although critics have long hailed Jackson's brash and dynamic percussion skills, his talents extend beyond the realm of drums. He is also a prolific composer, keyboard player, bassist, vibraphonist and vocalist.
"Duffy Jackson is a consummate entertainer," McCormick said. "His ability to combine musicianship with high-energy showmanship is not unlike Dizzy Gillespie. These characteristics truly set him apart from other jazz musicians."
The show is free and open to the public.