Atlanta born and bred, Alexandra Jackson, is a singer, songwriter, musician, and arranger. The 80’s baby began appreciating music while just a toddler. At four, she began what would become ten years of classical piano training and two years of jazz piano. Her household was always filled with music from Earth, Wind & Fire and Johnny Hartman to Pavarotti and Michael Jackson.
Alexandra grew up seeing new roads paved as the youngest daughter of Atlanta’s first African-American mayor, Maynard Jackson, and Valerie Jackson, one of the first African-American women to graduate from Wharton School of Business.
Although Alexandra was born into a family of politicians and civil rights activists, she prefers to do her advocating for social justice—and love—through her music. In fact, after years of choral and musical theatre it was Alexandra’s high school band director, Stutz Wimmer, who influenced her to focus on jazz. Soon after, Alexandra was a soloist with Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center through a nation-wide high school jazz band competition called Essentially Ellington. Singing with the band led Alexandra to pursue Jazz in college. She received a Bachelor of Music from the prestigious Studio Music and Jazz Vocal program and a minor in Music Business at the University of Miami. “I didn’t want to be just another singer,” Alexandra says about her degree pursuits. “I wanted to be able to understand the industry, give input on my own career, and publish my own work.”
It was at this point that Alexandra began to write her own original 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,” she explains. “I have so many musical loves: Maxwell, Sarah Vaughan, The Brand New Heavies, Jamiroquai, Oscar Peterson, Take 6, Elis Regina, D’Angelo, Tony Bennett, Chaka Khan…it just goes on and on.”
Living in Miami for four years also exposed Alexandra to a wealth of world music. “I had always loved Latin music but it was there that I fell in love with Brazilian music.” Her newfound love led her to sing in Salsa bands and with Brazilian ensembles. “I know some Spanish and Portuguese, but because I’m not fluent in them, I would learn the songs phonetically and work on my accent with friends who were native speakers. It was definitely a challenge but one that paid off. Some of those songs are still my favorite to sing to this day.”
After graduating from college, Alexandra created her own publishing company, became a private piano and voice instructor, and performed in the Florida Grand Opera’s production of AIDA. She has also sung back up for international icons such as Gloria Estefan and Jon Secada, and performed the National Anthem for Barack Obama’s presidential rally at Georgia Tech. Alexandra has performed in and around Atlanta and Miami, including the Atlanta Montreax Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and was the featured performer at the 2010 Atlanta Mayoral Inauguration. Before leaving Atlanta for Los Angeles, she made her professional acting debut playing Rebecca Gibbs in Kenny Leon’s adaptation of “Our Town”.
Her much-anticipated debut Jazz EP "From the Start" is out now!