RESERVATIONS: (313) 882-5299
Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe Logo
A Perfectly Tuned Evening Every Time...
Opened in 2008, The Dirty Dog is one of the premiere destinations in the United States for world class Jazz and cuisine. It combines the charm of an English-style pub with intimacy and meticulous attention to detail and hospitality.
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
December 6, 2019

Ali Jackson


Drummer,  Ali Jackson



Detroit has been blessed with great Jazz musicians living and performing here who have gone on to play on the world stage. As we’ve mentioned in many of our previous blogs, this has been the case since the Jazz idiom developed during the turn of the 20th century and is still happening.



Our Jazz Note profile series spotlights great musicians from Detroit, whether they’re still with us or whether they’ve passed on. These artists have made significant contributions to the world of music whether it’s Jazz, R&B, Rock, Hi-Hop, Classical, or what’s in between. Detroit has an excellent history with Jazz and is now considered to be one of the world’s great musical cities. Some of the great artists from Detroit no longer live here but are taking the Detroit sound wherever they go as they tour all over the world.



One such artist is drummer Ali Jackson, not to be confused with his famous father, Jazz bassist, Ali Jackson, Sr.



Ali Jr. is yet another Jazz artist who went to Detroit’s Cass Tech High School. In fact, it’s amazing how many musicians and artists studied at this outstanding educational institution! Everyone from Alice Coltrane and Kenny Burrell to Geri Allen, Regina Carter, and many others.



Born in New York City, April 3, 1976, art and music education was an integral part of his upbringing. Shortly after relocating to Detroit, Jackson found himself immersed in serious study, mentorship, and training.



Ali’s strong devotion to music started as a youth. He actually began playing drums at the age of 2 and piano at the age of 5. Being a professional musician himself, it was his father who gave him an intense introduction to Jazz.



Ali Jackson (plaid vest)


In 1993 he graduated from Cass Tech and in 1998 was the recipient of Michigan’s prestigious “Artserve” Emerging Artist award. As a child, he was selected as the soloist for the “Beacons Of Jazz” concert, which honored legend Max Roach at New School Jazz at Lincoln Center University. After earning an undergraduate degree in music composition at the New School University for Contemporary Music, he studied under drum legends, Elvin Jones and Max Roach.



In 2004 Jackson returned to Detroit and donated instruments and conducted numerous master classes in the effort to improve music knowledge and awareness for Detroit Public School students. He continues to share his passion for Jazz through educational outreach projects and self-motivated endeavors. Jackson’s musical knowledge has been shaped by a diverse musical career. He has been inspired by many musical genres including blues and funk, classical, Latin jazz, gospel, and musical influences from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and elsewhere.



His discography and performance archive includes such notables as Wynton Marsalis, Arethas Franklin, Tony Bennett, Faith Hill, Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Benson, Harry Connick Jr. Marcus Roberts, Joshua Redman,  Seito Kinen Orchestra conductor Seiji Ozawa, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New York City Ballet.






Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM.  She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.


Share This Article:

Visit the Dirty Dog Jazz Channel on YouTube to view our collection of videos. Watch Now
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
  An ancient trumpet from 2,000 B.C.   Jazz Notes with Judy Adams/  Jazz Trumpets Lead th [..]
  The Dirty Dog Jazz Café will remain closed until our jazz family can again safely gather in [..]
  The Dirty Dog Jazz Café will remain closed until our jazz family can again safely gather in [..]
Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts live performances from the greatest jazz musicians across the country.