Jackson Excites Students Singing the Blues

By Chris Gadd, The Dickson Herald | 

Friday, May 1, 2015 –

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Chris Gadd | Educators dance during the blues performance at Oakmont.


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Chris Gadd | Kenneth Jackson plays the blues at Oakmont Elementary.

Tennessee Arts Commission blues performer Kenneth Jackson entertained both students and educators at Oakmont Elementary School last month.

Jackson was a replacement for an earlier reserved act after the ice storm caused that performance to be canceled. Oakmont music teacher Kristina Arturi contacted Jackson through the TAC and the performance soon had students singing along to blues favorites first made famous by Muddy Waters, B.B. King and others.

Jackson, a Memphis resident, said he expects his performances in Dickson to increase from good word of mouth.

He described his vocal styles as being reminiscent of Lou Rawls and Barry White. Jackson, who began in music at age 14, is a composer, trumpeter, guitarist, and pianist. He said he’s performed with King, Rawls, Ray Charles, Johnny Taylor, Solomon Burke and Sam and Dave, among others. His babysitter, he said, was none other than Aretha Franklin.

He offers a Blues in the Schools educational program. He is president of K.R.J. Publishing Company, and is currently working with the Tennessee Arts Commission, Arts Advantage, Delta Arts Council, Wolf Trap Institute, and the Alabama Alliance for the Arts.

Oakmont Elementary is located in Dickson, Tennessee.

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Chris Gadd | Oakmont Elementary students cheer about their teachers dancing during Jackson’s blues performance.