Bill Jackson grew up near Ft. Wayne, Indiana, but really considers Cincinnati his hometown. A father of two, he has made his home in the Queen City for over twenty years now. Several months after Tropicoso formed, the founding bass player, Jim McCoy, moved to Florida. When Bill was approached to provide phone numbers of bass players who might be interested (we assumed he would be too busy, and you’ll soon see why), he himself expressed a strong interest in working with the band. Since then, Bill has been the foundation that the band builds it’s grooves upon.
Bill started reading music at age 9 under the tutelage of his older sister. He spent a short and in his words ‘enlightening’ time at Berklee School of Music studying with Bruce Gertz, and received a BME from Indiana University in Ft. Wayne. Well respected by his peers, one listen to Bill’s bass playing will explain why he stays so busy.
The following are just some of the artists Mr. Jackson has performed with recently: Saxophonists Steve Wilson and Javon Jackson, steel drum greats Ray Holman and Tom Miller, composer/percussionist Roland Vasquez, Red Rodney, Ed Shaunessey, as well as local Cincinnati greats John Von Ohlen, Cal Collins, Kenny Poole and Dan Faehnle. Equally accomplished on both upright and electric bass, Bill can frequently be seen performing with big band and jazz artists in the Cincinnati area, but his playing is not limited to the bass alone. Bill enjoys playing a variety of other stringed instruments, among them the guitar, mandolin and banjo. The latter two fit well into his newfound fascination with the bluegrass tradition.
Mehas Music store in Blue Ash, OH, is where Bill first expressed an interest in Tropicoso. He still works there in addition to serving as a Jazz Bass instructor at Northern Kentucky University. With numerous recording sessions added to this already hectic list of musical commitments, we’re lucky Bill still has time to help us grow musically.
Bill Jackson’s Discography:
12 Rods – “Split Personality”
Bacchanal Steel Band – “Standard”
J Curve Jazz Collection Vol. II with Cal Collins and Kenny Poole
Doug Perry Ensemble – “Street Stories”
Tropicoso – “UnCuento”
Mike Wade and the Jazz Mafia – “Broach Approach”
WVXU Jazz: – “A Slice of Live” with Mat Britain and Caribe