She learned piano as a child … when she began classical training. Her household was filled with a range of music, including Miles Davis, Earth, Wind & Fire, Johnny Hartman, Luciana Pavarotti, Michael Jackson, and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Alexandra also grew up seeing new roads paved as the youngest daughter of Atlanta’s first African-American mayor, the late Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr., and businesswoman and NPR personality Valerie Richardson Jackson. It is also worth noting that Alexandra’s 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.
In her early years, Alexandra first gravitated to choral and musical theatre before turning her focus to Jazz. Soon after, Alexandra was a soloist at Lincoln Center as part of the Essentially Ellington competition. That led her to pursue Jazz in college – attending the prestigious Studio Music and Jazz Vocal program (with a minor in Music Business) at the University of Miami. Those years in Miami also gave her exposure to a wealth of world music – most notably Brazilian Jazz and MPB. She says: “I had always loved Latin music but I fell in love with Brazilian music while I was Miami.” That newfound love led Alexandra to sing in Miami Latin bands and with Brazilian ensembles. She goes on to say: “I know Spanish and Portuguese; but, because I’m not fluent in them, I learn the songs phonetically and work on my accent with native speakers. Latin and Brazilian songs are among my favorite to sing to this day.”
Alexandra explains that she channels all of these influences in her life and music … “All of the musical influences in my life have really provided me with a broad taste in what I listen to and how I write music and think about music. I have so many musical loves – from Ivan Lins, Djavan, Elis Regina, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, to 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.”
After graduating from college, Alexandra became a private piano and voice instructor. And in between her Miami years and spending time based in Los Angeles, Alexandra returned to her hometown of Atlanta, where she made her professional acting debut in a local theater adaptation of “Our Town”. Internationally, her experience includes performing with Gloria Estefan and Jon Secada, and appearing in Jazz Festivals in both the U.S. and Europe.
Now, in 2016 … Alexandra is working on her debut album that channels her 4 primary musical loves and experiences: Brazilian Music, American Jazz & Soul, NeoSoul, and London Soul Jazz … into a music alchemy intended for contemporary audiences worldwide. And, as 2016 is the 50th anniversary of when Bossa Nova was the world’s most popular music, and, as it is the 100th anniversary of Samba … indeed this is the moment to honor the great Brazilian music cultural legacy.
So, in the coming months, “Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy” will be released globally. With this music, Alexandra aspires to meet the challenges of honoring the great Brazil music legacy, while offering a way forward. The historic Brazilian-American musical collaboration that is “Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy”is led by Producer Robert Hebert and his colleagues: Larry Williams, Rod Temperton, Chris Walker, Arthur Maia, Ricardo Silveira and Max Viana. The music project features historic performances by the late Antonio Carlos Jobim, the late Miles Davis, the late Oscar Castro-Neves, Ivan Lins, Djavan, the Jobim Trio (Paulo Jobim, Daniel Jobim and Paulo Braga), Dona Ivone Lara, Carlinhos Brown, Al Jarreau, Banda Black Rio, Larry Dunn and Al McKay, Hubert Laws, Darryl Jones, Teo Lima, Robertinho Silva, Marco Brito, Armando Marcal, Pretinho da Serrinha, Marcelo Martins, Jesse Sadoc, Darryl Tookes, Curtis King, Paulo Calasans, Maestro Charles Floyd,the Producers themselves, and other greats. The album repertoire consists of unique arrangements of classic songs composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Ivan Lins, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Oscar Castro-Neves, Rod Temperton, Lo and Marcio Borges, Chico Buarque, Dona Ivone Lara, Maurice White and Banda Black Rio … that have been re-imagined in a unique and exciting manner … with several of them being performed in English for the very first time.
Indeed … 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics is the proverbial “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for Alexandra Jackson to channel her loves of Brazil music and its synergy with American Jazz into an intriguing mix that the world can pay attention to.
Alexandra is performing in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympics, and she will start touring around the world into 2017.
LEGACY & ALCHEMY is a new project led by Executive Producer Robert Hebert. It honors the great Brazilian music cultural legacy. The project is a wide ranging collaboration of artists - both Brazilian and American master musicians, songwriters and producers.
The project introduces vocalist Alexandra Jackson on the upcoming album titled: "Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy" (2017). Alexandra's album features performances by the late Miles Davis, the late Antonio Carlos Jobim, the late Oscar Castro-Neves, Ivan Lins, Djavan, the Jobim Trio (Paulo Jobim, Daniel Jobim and Paulo Braga), Dona Ivone Lara, Carlinhos Brown, Al Jarreau, Banda Black Rio, Larry Dunn and Al McKay, Hubert Laws, Rod Temperton, Larry Williams, Arthur Maia, Ricardo Silveira, Darryl Jones, Teo Lima, Armando Marcal, Robertinho Silva, Marco Brito, Marcelo Martins, Jesse Sadoc, Max Viana, Pretinho da Serrinha, Chris Walker, Darryl Tookes, Curtis King, Maestro Charles Floyd, and others.