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About Jackson A. Waters

Jackson A. Waters is a concert composer who was recently deemed the next “Rising Star” by VoyageLA Magazine. At 16, he was selected to be the youngest composer-in-residence at the 2018 Oregon Bach Festival, where the Festival premiered his first work involving a string quartet and piano. Months later, Jackson was commissioned by the Areté Vocal Ensemble to write a choral work in memory of the lives affected and lost during the Woolsey Fire that struck Southern California in 2018. During his time as the principal trumpet at The Colburn School in 2019, the Colburn Youth Orchestra recorded his first orchestral work, a rhapsody about the Tulsa Race Massacre, which was conducted by Jackson himself. By the time he entered his first semester at New York University, Jackson had earned commissions and performance opportunities from conservatories, professional ensembles, and dance companies.


Jackson’s recent musical works focus on rejuvenating Black American history and culture in an attempt to resurface unrepresented stories and racial injustices. Waters recently expanded on his 2019 rhapsody into a full orchestral symphony titled "Defending Greenwood," a six-movement programmatic symphony based on the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921. Being a work of "expert orchestration" and a "tour de force," portions of his symphony have been played by The Colburn School and NYU Orchestra 1, as well as earned first place in the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra’s Emerging Composers Competition and a finalist position with the American Composer’s Orchestra Earshot Competition at just 21 years old.


Having scored the music for multiple award-winning short films, Jackson’s music palette spans beyond the genre of concert music. Jackson spent time writing music for social media platforms as well, where he started collaborating with TikTok star and poet Christi Steyn, for whom he scored her short videos of spoken word poetry.


Jackson also uses his talents as a classical and studio trumpet player. In New York, Jackson has performed with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and frequently plays in recording sessions for other artists.


He is currently focusing on his debut album, while in his residency abroad in the Czech Republic, which features music with an intimate piano, trumpet, and string trio.


While pursuing all of this, Waters is studying music theory and composition at New York University (recipient of the Steinhardt Scholarship). His past private instructors and mentors include Justin Dello Joio, Shelley Washington, and Michael Gordon, and he is currently working with Beata Hlavenková while participating in his residency in the Czech Republic.

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