Guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. (Michael Jackson, American Idol)
Episode 2521st January 2021 • Musicians Reveal • Joe Kelley
00:00:00 00:24:50

Share Episode


In The Beginning

Born and based in Los Angeles and a member of numerous local bands from his early teens, including a band composed of himself and his siblings, Paul Jackson, Jr. very quickly established his skill and sensitivity and was soon called upon to do many R&B and pop sessions, as well as jazz dates. Jackson began his own solo recording career in the late 80’s. However, it was not until a decade later that his musical maturity, much imitated distinctive style, and significant musical and technical skills made him a favorite among live audiences and his becoming recognized by many as one of the most recorded guitarists in the world.


Though Jackson never got to meet or work with one of his chief guitar/musical influences, Wes Montgomery, he has forged professional relationships with all the others who touched his formative years, including Gary Bell, Earl Klugh, George Benson, Ray Parker Jr., George Duke, Al McKay , and Lee Ritenour, along with his mentor, Patrice Rushen, Paul has appeared on the recordings of other superstars such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Quincy Jones, Luther Vandross, Ella Fitzgerald, Natelie Cole, B.B. King, Selina, Jennifer Lopez, Luis Miguel, Jewel, Amy Grant, Bebe & CeCe Winans, Boney James, Kenny Rogers, Al Jarreau, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Joe Sample, Barry White, Chicago, and many others. Also on the underscore of many motion pictures such as “Get On Up”, “Zootopia”, and “The Color Purple”. More recently, Paul contributed his playing styles and composing chops to the Daft Punk CD, which garnered 5 Grammy Awards, was the #1 album in 104 countries and garnered Paul Grammy recognition for his contribution to the Album


Seven previous successful albums, containing several top ten releases include: I Came To Play (Grammy Nominated), Out of The Shadows, and River in The Desert under the Atlantic Label. Never Alone Duets under the Pony Canyon/ Blue Note Labels, Power of the String and Still Small Voice under the Blue Note Label, and Lay it Back, under the Branch Records, Inc. Label. Paul has recently released his new CD, Stories From Stompin’ Willie, also on the Branch Records, Inc. Label.


In addition to live solo performances Paul has appeared on many television shows and specials: The American Cinema Awards Show, which honored Bob Hope (Music Director). Sitcoms Martin and Townsend Television (Music Director); The Movie, Undercover Brother.( co-composer), and The 2008 Grammy after party (Music Director) featuring many notable artists including Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Jill Scott, Ne-Yo and Lionel Ritchie. Paul was a band regular of the highly regarded television shows: “Don’t Forget The Lyrics” NBC’s Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and Fox’s The American Idol .

Paul has taught at worship conferences in Korea, Italy, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as authored the curriculum for these conferences. He believes his trip with Whitney Houston to South Africa in 1995 was his most spiritual, powerful and soul-energizing project.