At our East&West Dialogue, guest speakers from Different cultural backgrounds share their life experiences, insights, and have a dialogue with our audience. In this first dialogue of Season 2023, we are thrilled to have D.D. Jackson and Andy Milne, two Juno-winning jazz pianists, composers, and band leaders, to reflect on their multi-ethnic racial identities growing up in Canada and living in the United States, and how these experiences have impacted their approach to their art.
Professionals or homemakers, parents or students, everyone is welcome!
Time: Friday, March 31, 2023, 8 – 9:30 P.M. Eastern Time
Free English event, with Chinese and other selected language caption
Venue: online Zoom meeting
Zoom registration link:
Guest Speaker Biography
With a B. Music in Classical Piano from Indiana University, and a Masters in Jazz from the Manhattan School of Music, Canadian-born D.D. Jackson is a two times Emmy-winning (five-times Emmy-nominated composer, songwriter and producer. He is also a Juno-winning jazz pianist and composer who has, as leader or co-leader, recorded 13 CD’s of mostly original jazz music (including 2 for the major label BMG), ranging from his Juno Award-winning solo piano CD “…So Far”, to his larger-scale meditation on the events of 9/11 “Suite for New York”. He has performed, recorded and toured around the world with diverse artists to name a few, saxophonist David Murray, violinist Billy Bang, drummer Jack Dejohnette, Questlove and Tariq Trotter of The Roots. He previously composed two jazz-influenced operas: “Québécité” (based in part on the story of his African American father and Chinese mother) and “Trudeau: Long March/Shining Path,” both to librettos by Canada’s former Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke. Clarke also recently commissioned Jackson to compose the music to 13 new songs featuring lyrics by an array of diverse poets. Jackson was awarded a Canada Council “Concepts to Realization” Grant to record these songs for his upcoming CD (tentatively titled “Poetry Project”).
As a composer for television, Jackson has written songs and other music for a wide range of shows, from Peg + Cat (PBS) to The Wonder Pets (Nickelodeon) and Sesame Street (PBS/HBO). As a writer, he penned a popular column for DownBeat magazine entitled “Living Jazz” for 5 years. As an educator, Jackson is an award-winning professor and is currently on faculty at: Jay-Z’s new “Roc Nation” school at Long Island University Brooklyn where he teaches courses covering Music Tech, piano, and music production; and at Brooklyn College, where he previously helped manage the Global Jazz Masters program and direct the Big Band, and where he currently teaches Media Scoring in their Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. D.D. lives in Maplewood, NJ (just outside of New York City) with his wife Elizabeth, their 16-year old son Jarrett and 14-year old daughter Aria.
His website is: ddjackson.com
For over 30 years, two-time Juno Award-winning pianist and composer Andy Milne has demonstrated boundless versatility, collaborating with dancers, filmmakers, authors, visual artists, poets and musicians spanning multiple genres. A fearless improviser and respected voice at the heart of New York’s creative jazz scene, he has recorded and toured throughout the world with Ravi Coltrane, Ralph Alessi, Carlos Ward, Carla Cook and Steve Coleman, and has collaborated with a range of artists including Andrew Cyrille, Sekou Sundiata, Avery Brooks, Bruce Cockburn, Fred Hersch, Ben Monder, Dianne Reeves, Jen Shyu and Tyshawn Sorey.
Milne has composed and produced multiple film scores for acclaimed actor/director William Shatner and has released 11 recordings as a leader or co-leader. He is a Yamaha Artist and sought-after educator, currently serving as a full-time assistant professor of music at The University of Michigan and is the Assistant-Director of The School for Improvisational Music. He has received numerous awards and commissions, including the prestigious Civitella Fellowship in Italy. He is currently composing a piano quintet for the Isidore String Quartet, commissioned by the Banff International String Quartet Competition. Milne is increasingly working in film and tv, serving as the musical director, and as a cast member in the new Showtime series “Fellow Travelers”. He is currently composing the score to the CBC Television documentary “Black Life” and music for a children’s audiobook series currently in development. Andy’s website is www.andymilne.com.
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