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Franz Jackson
 
One of the classic Chicago jazz saxophonists, Franz Jackson played with the bands of Albert Ammons, Roy Eldridge, Fletcher Henderson, Earl Hines, and Fats Waller during the '30s, '40s, and '50s, before forming his Original Jazz Stars band which worked regularly for over a decade. The 86 year-old Jackson was recently recognized as the the recipient of the 1996 Arts Midwest Jazz Masters Award. Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune says "Few musicians express the sheer joy and optimism of vintage jazz as well as reedist-vocalist Franz Jackson."

Born in Rock Island, IL on November 1, 1912, Jackson spent the first decade of his life in the Quad Cities area, but never played there until 1997. At the age of 17, Franz began his professional career, playing with Albert Ammons, and later Carroll Dickerson and Jimmy Noone. Thereafter, he replaced Ben Webster in both Eldridge and Henderson's bands, then worked with Earl Hines and Fats Waller. After spending a few years in Europe following World War II, Jackson returned to Chicago during the mid-'50s to form his Original Jazz Stars band.

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