A world-renowned musician, Ali was born into a supportive family for his early talent with the drums. Ali is a 1993 graduate of World acclaimed High School, Cass Tech. In 1998 he was the recipient of Michigan’s prestigious Artserv “Emerging Artist” award.
As a child, he won numerous recognitions and scholarships, and was selected as the soloist for the “Beacons Of Jazz” concert that honored legend Max Roach at New School University. Having completed his under graduate degree in music composition at the New School University for Contemporary Music, Jackson further enriched his knowledge with private study with master teachers, Elvin Jones and Max Roach. Demonstrating his commitment to education for young people, Jackson has been part of Young Audiences, a program that educates New York City youth about jazz.
Ali has performed and recorded extensively with some of the world’s finest musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Harry Connick Jr., KRS-1,Marcus Roberts, Cyrus Chestnut, Joshua Redman, Vinx, Seito Kinen Orchestra conductor Seiji Ozawa, Diana Krall, and the New York City Ballet. Some of his production talent is featured on George Benson’s 2005 GRP release “Irreplaceable”.
Ali is also featured on the Wynton Marsalis Quartet debut Blue Note recording “The Magic Hour”. In 2004 alongside Kurt Rosenwinkle, Josh Redman, Brad Mehldau and Larry Grenadier completed an extensive tour of Europe concluding with the Rosenwinkle recording “Deep Song” (Verve, 2005).
Jackson is a member of the group that features world greats Cyrus Chestnut, Reginald Veal and James Carter. Their collaboration on “Gold Sounds” (Brown Brothers, 2005) demonstrates the transformation of indie alternative rock band “Pavement” covers to unique virtuosic interpretations and performance, with the attitude of the church and juke joint.
You can find Jackson featured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis Quintet, Ali Jackson Quartet, or “phenom ensemble” Horns in the Hood. He has hosted “Jammin with Jackson” a series for young musicians at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy Club Coca-Cola.
In the midst of the Hurricane Relief efforts Ali donated his time in various benefits including performances for the NBC Hurricane Relief Concert, CNN, and the “Higher Ground Relief Concert” produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Ali was a featured artist on the Jazz at Lincoln Center series honoring the music and musicians of the Detroit jazz heritage entitled “Motor City Jazz”. He is also the voice of “Duck Ellington” a character in the Penguin book series, “Baby Loves Jazz” which was released summer of 2006.
He is seen and heard in Apple Computers’ iPod Ad campaign (2006) entitled “Sparks”.
Over the past couple of years, Ali has appeared with various configurations on television including: Conan O’Brien with the Eldar trio, “The View” with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra as well as the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His playing is also heard in “Bolden”, a film about the beginnings of jazz.
Recently, Ali is featured on CD/DVD “Two Men With The Blues”, a Blue Note release with music legends Wynton Marsalis and Willie Nelson. Through his continued drive and integrity Ali aspires to bring the essence and legacy of Jazz music to the universe.