JazzFest History

Bobby Jackson

Awarded: 2014
Born: Bronx, New York

"Bobby was a jazz warrior and a deep lover of the music. It really reached the depths of his soul."

- Lisa-Jean Sylvia


Veteran jazz broadcaster and educator Bobby Jackson got his start in radio at the University of Georgia WUOG-FM in Athens. He moved on to serve as music director in Atlanta radio before coming to Cleveland’s WCPN-FM 90.3. His program “Jazz Tracks” was named Ohio Educational Telecommunications Program of the Year. His programs “The Jazz Mind” and “The Roots of Smooth” still run in syndication. Beloved by musicians, broadcasters and his audiences for his rich voice, hearty laugh and signature bear hugs, Jackson’s expertise in jazz led him to teaching positions at the Cleveland Music School Settlement and Oberlin. He was a widely respected advocate for jazz and counted among his close friends greats including Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis and Wayne Shorter. Jackson will be remembered for his work to secure jazz a rightful place in American culture.

Bobby Jackson- Come Fly With Me
Lisa-Jean Sylvia on Bobby Jackson