Michael Gregory Jackson

Michael Gregory Jackson’s music is spiritual and holds the light – even in the darkness…This is how the music is: it contains a will to dive into the deepest layers of human life, but is at the same time also a tribute to life itself. A sound painting that covers the diversity of life itself. – Jakob Baekgaard, Jazz Special

"MGJ Spirit Signal Strata" ~ "Michael’s renown has long been based on his brilliant technique and highly original conception as a guitarist, all of which is richly and astonishingly evident on this album’s eight original compositions." - Tom Reney - Down Beat and NPR Critics Poll; Jazz à la Mode host, podcast producer, and JazzBeat New England Public Radio/NEPR.net

"Michael Gregory Jackson has for many years been a singular force in contemporary jazz. No other artist managed to combine such lyricism with freewheeling strength. His new album shows us all that, then underscores how much we need to remember exactly how accomplished a guitarist he has always been. He comes at us with a set that gives notice." - Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Music Blog

"If more people checked into his world, this superb new disc and the many others before, they might still see there’s so much more that can be done with our old friend, the electric guitar. If you just have the skill, passion and balls to pursue the unknown like Michael Gregory Jackson." - Sal Cataldi - Huffington Post

“Michael Gregory Jackson has long been one of my favorite musicians. We came along around the same time and I have always considered him to be one of the most significantly original guitarists of our generation with his own distinctive sound and point of view. I am always curious to know what he is doing and where his inspiration has taken him next.”- Pat Metheny 

“The Reunion Blues Aero Series gig bag is the best gig bag  I've ever used; it's strong, lightweight, offers total protection for my guitars and looks awesome! Thank you Reunion Blues for making wonderful products. I am truly satisfied.”


Michael Gregory Jackson is a composer, innovator, guitarist, improviser, sound explorer, educator and poet. By age 20 Michael was an integral part of the fertile New Haven CT music scene, creating music with composers Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Davis, Gerry Hemingway and others.

Upon his arrival in NYC he was widely considered one of the most innovative guitarists to emerge during New York’s avant-garde loft scene in the 70s. Michael stands as a pioneer of a new movement, one in which genres and sounds were suddenly mixed in new and inventive ways. Rolling Stone magazine called him “the most original jazz guitarist to emerge since the sixties.” Michael embodies the nature of a true and natural artist, perpetually cultivating new ideas and directions.

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, Brandon Ross, Elliot Sharp and others.

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.

His recent credits as a producer include Pulitzer Prize nominee Wadada Leo Smith, for whom he produced two critically acclaimed discs. Michael taught at California Institute for the Arts, New England Conservatory of Music, Copenhagen Conservatory of Music, DK, Hampshire College, and is a guiding artist at The Creative Music Studio, Woodstock, N.Y.

Currently, Michael is preparing for an October 26, 2017 release MGJ’s “SPRIT SIGNAL STRATA”, his major trio project featuring drummer Kenwood Dennard and bassist Keith Witty.

In 2015-2016 Michael toured Europe for his critically acclaimed release of his European based Clarity Quartet, “After Before.” Michael Gregory Jackson’s Clarity Quartet (DK) members are Niels Praestholm bass, Simon Spang Hanssen saxophone and flute and Matias Wolf Andreasen on drums. Michael has also been performing and recording duets with Simon Spang-Hanssen, the new release “Essence Breaks Free” from this exciting duo with guest will be released in 2018.

Michael is also performing and touring with his CLARITY TRiO, featuring Rakalam Bob Moses on drums and a changing line up of bassists. In 2016 is the incredible new release from London based drummer Kikanju Baku and tuba player Joe Daley, the project is titled “Endogeny and Exogamy”.


Michael is proud to endorse Pigtronix Pedals, Fishman Triple Play and Godin Guitars.


Website: http://michaelgregoryjackson.com/

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