Great Jazz Drummer’s Life Celebrated

The Nashville Jazz Workshop will honor the memory of jazz great Duffy Jackson this weekend with an online tribute.

By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — One of the greatest jazz drummers and scat singers, not just in Nashville history but across the board, will be remembered this weekend by friends and colleagues. The Nashville Jazz Workshop is celebrating the life and times of Duffy Jackson with an online memorial tribute Saturday night. Jackson became a huge contributor to the NJW faculty as well as the Music City music community from the time he arrived here from Florida in the late 2000s until his premature passing March 3 at age 67.

The NJW has gathered clips from his host of concerts, and many top artists will also be appearing. That list includes The George Tidwell Sextet, The Lori Mechem Quartet, Roy Agee, Christina Watson, Don Aliquo, Dick Sisto, and Andy Reiss, as well as some vintage performances showcasing his all-star big band.

From his time as a child star through his years with such notable artists as Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr., Benny Carter, Sonny Stitt, Illinois Jacquet and Monty Alexander, Jackson provided rhythmic intensity and fervor to every situation. He was especially fond of his years with Count Basie as well, and brought to everything he did in Nashville the identical distinction and drive. to cite just a few. 

The NJW salute can be viewed on their Facebook Live page beginning at 7 p.m.