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New York City native Brian Jackson’s love for jazz and soul music saw him get a scholarship to music school, then to university, where he met the man who he would spend a decade writing, recording and performing with – US jazz and soul legend Gil Scott-Heron. On the flute and electric piano, Brian Jackson’s compositions were at the heart of nearly ten Scott-Heron albums, including the critically acclaimed Winter in America and Pieces of a Man.

After he split with Heron in 1980, Jackson recorded with giants such as Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder and Roy Ayers: inflecting his jazz, soul and proto-hip hop styling’s into the groundbreaking arrangements that inform vast swathes of popular music today. In this lecture at the 2015 Red Bull Music Academy in Paris, Jackson discusses his time with Scott-Heron and even sits down at the Rhodes to punctuate some of his stories.

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Photo: Sarah Bastin

RBMA PARIS 2015 – BRIAN JACKSON LECTURE

GIL SCOTT HERON & BRIAN JACKSON – WINTER IN AMERICA

GIL SCOTT HERON & BRIAN JACKSON – WILLING