Birthplace: Burton-on-Trent, England
Jackson taught himself to play piano at age 11, and won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1971. Following graduation, he performed with a band named Arms and Legs, and later worked as the musical director for the Portsmouth Playboy Club. In 1979, at the height of new wave, Jackson released his debut album, Look Sharp!, highlighted by the hit single “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” Abandoning pop, Jackson then went on to record album-length tributes to reggae, jump blues, and jazz. Further experimentation in '90s on such albums as Big World (1986) and Night Music (1994) lost him all but his most ardent fans. He resurfaced in 2000 with the critically acclaimed Summer in the City—Live in New York and Night and Day II, featuring guest spots from Marianne Faithfull and others. His memoir, A Cure for Gravity was published in 1999.