Javon Anthony Jackson (born June 16, 1965) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist, bandleader, and educator. He first became known as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers from 1987 until Blakey’s death in 1990 and went on to release 20 recordings as a bandleader and tour and record on over 150 CDs with jazz greats including Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Charlie Haden, Betty Carter, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Stanley Turrentine and Ben E. King.
In his solo career, his music has been a mix of tradition and neo-jazz, mixing hard bop with soul and funk influences. Recognized for those diverse styles, he was tapped by producers Lea Reis, Bryant «Moe Doe» Johnson to play on Tupac Shakur’s Keep Ya Head Up / Madukey Remix in 1993.
In 1992, Javon played saxophonist Illinois Jacquet in Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. He is featured in the film playing the Lionel Hampton/Benny Goodman standard, «Flying Home».
He became chair of the University of Hartford’s Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz in 2013. In 2019, Newport Festivals Foundation expanded the reach of its popular Newport Jazz Assembly program with the introduction of the Jackie McLean Jazz Studies Jazz Assembly, under Jackson’s direction. Jackson also serves as Artistic Director of Jazz in the Valley, an annual music festival in the historic Hudson Valley, now in its 20th year.
Please help support the Jazz Video Guy on his mission to keep Jazz visible.