Coming from a rich musical pedigree that most could only dream of, songwriter/guitar player
extraordinaire Shawn Jackson spins tunes that touch the heart, move the hips, and melt Artic ice. Born
in Gary, Indiana, music came to Shawn Jackson as a birthright – he’s the cousin of megastar Michael
Jackson. With such a deep music heritage coursing through his legendary bloodlines, music was the
natural path for young Shawn.
As a child, Shawn learned guitar from his bluesman father and by playing with the older musicians in his
neighborhood. By his teenage years, the same players who taught him were trying to recruit him to play
in their groups. His first gig came at age 12 at the Zodiac in his hometown, and the crowd’s boisterous,
money throwing response showed him there was no turning back.
Shawn honed his musical talents in front of raucous bar crowds and at steamy clubs across Chicago and
Arizona, turning a craftsman’s ear to audience reaction to help him crack the songwriting code. Not
content to be penciled in to existing genres, Shawn sought to create his own unique sound. Working
alone, he perfected the art of songwriting, learning how to weave a story with arrangements, sounds,
and tones, and to build a composition from the ground up. In songcraft, Shawn found his muse, and
he continues to play regularly with groups in the Phoenix area to judge crowd feedback to perfect his
Known as the Groovemaster for his ability to pen smooth flowing, funk dripping tracks, Shawn draws
from the joy and pain of everyday living to shape his compositions. Characterized by galloping rhythms
and a serious musicianship, Shawn’s songs take his life and moods and translate them into a universal
experience that reaches the listener at a spiritual level. Musically, his soulful numbers are colored by
many sources, including R&B, hip hop, and rock, but they are firmly rooted in today and have a sound
unlike any other – indelibly, undeniably his.
A red hot performance at the 2003 Jackson family reunion at the Neverland Ranch was an eye opener
to Shawn’s famous relatives and others. Though Michael’s untimely passing prevented a cousinly
collaboration, Shawn continues to team with a number of other talented performers. His work has been
played across the country and internationally, and upcoming projects include numbers with Phoenix
guitar slinger Paris James, Tanya Thillet of Mother’s Favorite Child, and music producer Paris Toon. He
also writes music for his brother Keith’s band Triple Dose, who perform regionally in the Chicago and
northwest Indiana area.