African / World Music Percussion / Modern Dance Music
R.L. Jackson was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where he learned to play the drum set at age 10. In 1990, his relocation to New York city propelled intensive study of the rhythms, dances, and instruments involved in multiple cultures, including those of Afro-Brazilian, West African, South African, Angolan, Korean, and Haitian origin.
Former music director for Batoto Yetu Children’s African Dance Company, he also collaborated with several dance companies, including “Fosse” choreographer Chet Walker’s Eight And Ah 1 Dance Ensemble, Omar Edwards’Jeremiah Funk Ensemble, David Pleasnat’sRiddim Athon Percussion Ensemble (which deals with Black American music and the Gullah Culture), and Young Soon Kim’s White Wave Rising Dance Company.
He has recorded works for The Children’s Television Workshop, Sesame Street, Rabbit Ears Productions, Nickeloleon, Angelina Ballerina, The Smithsonian Institute, and the motion picture Beloved.
He has been a faculty member at several notable institutions including Jacob’s Pillow, New York University, and the Alvin Ailey School.
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