Jackson Dreyer was born outside of Chicago, IL to a family of zero other musicians. The only music in his blood came from his great grandfather, a professional banjo player in the 30s and 40s. Without a guitar until age 10, he still grew up on classic rock and the blues. He began playing guitar in his 6th grade jazz band shortly after becoming obsessed with Carlos Santana’s “Oye Como Va.” Throughout high school, he played saxophone, guitar, sang, and occasionally wrote songs in a blues/rock band. This is when he really began to cut his teeth as a performer and band leader.
In 2014, Jackson moved to Nashville to study music at Belmont University and, in a short time, set his roots in the songwriting community and began to play his own music with his current band. Belmont studies included majoring in guitar, singing in the Beltones (competitive a cappella), and taking classes in music business, songwriting, arranging, and more. While in college, Jackson taught a year of after-school cappella at Head Magnet Middle School.
In 2017, Jackson released his debut single, “Step Up”, and a live-in-studio video series, “The Cozy Sessions.” Things heated up in the summer 2018 with a new single every month off of Jackson’s debut, self-titled record. The first single and Jackson’s most well received song to date, “Can’t Fake It,” makes a bold statement for the full record, while “Coeur d’Alene” speaks to the small resort town in Idaho that shaped the man he is today.
Christmas 2018 brought two new “cozy” tracks, an original Christmas song and an electric cover of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.” Jackson spent the first half of 2019 crafting two singles with new collaborator and longtime friend, Jess Grommet; “Better Man” and “Ruin A Name.”
In the past year, “Can’t Fake It” and “Better Man” have both seen significant spins on Nashville radio station, Lightning 100, with “Can’t Fake It” also approaching 300,000 streams on Spotify alone.
Jackson’s Teaching Philosophy: “Everyone has something to learn from music, even if they never become professional musicians. I know what music has done for me from a young age, and if their studies and practice are always rooted in a love of music, they’re bound for a wonderful learning journey.”
Questions & Answers
What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?
“I’m passionate about moments of authentic passion for music and human connection. As a teacher, I get to see things click for students, and as a songwriter, I get to see my words and music hit people all sorts of ways.”
What’s your favorite local spot to spend time at when you’re not working & what do you do there?
“I love Wednesday nights at the Flamingo Cocktail club for its weekly funk/soul/R&B jam, The Invite. It’s all improv, so I’ll hop up to sing most of the time, and occasionally bring my guitar or sax.”
What is your favorite down-time activity to reduce stress?
“Throwing a football!”
What is your favorite all time movie and why?
“The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s so inspiring, visually stunning, and wonderfully nostalgic.”
If you could meet one performer who would it be and what wold you ask them?
“I’d ask Michael Jackson if I could hang in the studio for some sessions with Quincy Jones.”