Reuben Jackson was Archivist and Associate Curator with the Smithsonian Institution’s Duke Ellington Collection from 1989 to December 2009. He was also responsible for collecting and processing collections donated by the estates of Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, and Ralph Burns, as well as materials from the Apollo Theater and pianist Ramsey Lewis.
His music reviews have been published in The Washington Post, Washington City Paper, All About Jazz, Jazz Times, Jazziz, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He is also an instructor at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and a regular contributor to Metro Connection, a weekly radio news magazine heard on WAMU, in Washington, DC. His poems have been published on The Jazz Journalists Association website, in a volume called Fingering the Keys, and in 21 different anthologies. Reuben’s “haiku” was set to music by the late saxophonist Steve Lacy.
Reuben has been interviewed for NPR’s Making the Music and for forthcoming documentaries on the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. He has also participated in symposia at The Experience Music Project, The International Association of Jazz Education, The Library of Congress, and at several Duke Ellington Conferences.
Reuben lives in Washington, DC.