Call My Name
"There's still room to be innovative, good music's not going anywhere." --Jami Jackson Jami Jackson has always been ahead of the curve. The Durham, North Carolina native knew at age 5 that she had a natural penchant for singing and music. Family played a large role in cultivating her talent and setting the path. At her first gig, her dad encouraged her to sing her favorite song, "Part of Your World" from the Little Mermaid, to a crowd of relatives who were so moved they gave her money on the spot. Soon after, she was intuitively playing notes on her grandma's piano from a song she just heard. The natural progression of piano lessons, and singing in the children's choir, as a regular lead, prepared her for the road ahead. The young songstress continued performing throughout elementary, middle and high school, adding acting and dancing to her repertoire. Jami began to blossom in high school, delving into songwriting as a freshman. Her song and dance troupe performed throughout her state, performing for major North Carolina figures such as Duke University's legendary "Coach K". Her pure yet soulful voice and infectious appeal were undeniable. She was a regular soloist in the Peace Missionary Baptist Church Spirit of Peace Choir and won a regional contest to record her own song for a charity CD raising money for families in need in the central region of North Carolina. As a locally and regionally respected vocalist, she was one of a few high school students to attend the North Carolina Governor's School for music and the choice singer of the National Anthem to open the Durham Bulls Baseball games. Jami honed her skills at several open mics around the Research Triangle area before entering New York City's Columbia University to pursue her educational and musical dreams. In the midst of her studies as a pre-med psychology major, she also developed an interest and passion for the business side of the industry, and set out to learn from experience. New York became her stage; rousing audiences with her rich rendition of the National Anthem at football and basketball home games; wowing audiences at Kwanzaa celebrations, Black History Month Showcases and campus events. While dominating the college circuit, she nurtured her gospel roots in a local community church. She took advantage of New York's various open mic opportunities, singing and performing as much she could, cultivating power in her voice and show. Tongo Eisen-Martin of the Nuyorican Poet's Café proclaims that nobody brings energy out of the audience like her; and is impressed by her command of the stage and the crowd. During this highly expressive time, her songwriting was reinvigorated; writing lyrics and creating melodies with the encouragement of her friends and family. She effortlessly delivered sultry vocals on mixtapes with hip-hop production group of fellow Columbia students, strengthening her arsenal of styles. After signing with indie label, Blacque Records, post-graduation, Jami released her debut album, "Call My Name," in March 2007. The album featured ten original songs and compositions; a collective journey of inspirations, motivations, passions, and stories from the heart. Throughout the year, she performed to audiences at some of New York's top venues such as the Apollo Theater, where she drew rave applause, Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar, the Nuyorican Poets Café; and was invited to Washington, D.C. to perform for the Association for the Advancement of Science. As a standing member of LIFEbeat's Hearts and Voices program, Jami also uses her voice to heal. She regularly entertains residents in HIV nursing homes around the city who thrive off of the energy from her show. Hearts and Voices Program Manager considers her a true asset to the team, "Jami Jackson's powerful and passionate performances are always a shining example of the healing gift of live music and entertainment." What's next for Jami? Look for her in MTVU's HIV/AIDS anti-stigma commercial, premiering in April 2008, singing her original song "Sista Girl.". She continues to experiment with sound and diversify her set, forming a live band with electric and acoustic capabilities. In writing new songs for her next album, she brings her mom's inspirational poetry to life as lyrics. Jami's membership in key industry organizations such as ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International), and AIMP (Association of Independent Music Publishers) demonstrates her focus and investment in herself and her musical future. This creative and enterprising songstress is continuing on her path of singing and songwriting; finding happiness by connecting with others and exciting the soul through her music.
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