Born in Milwaukee, WI Jackie grew up in McFarland, a suburb of Madison, WI. She was surrounded by music, all three of her brothers played brass instruments at the insistence of her father Louis (Gene), a Dixieland jazz tuba player, recently inducted into the Polka Hall of Fame. Jackie chose the French horn. She attended U.W. Madison studying Vocal Performance and Jazz with NEA Jazz Master Richard Davis. In the late 80s, Jackie moved to Milwaukee where she met pianist/organist Melvin Rhyne (Wes Montgomery Trio) and worked with him for four years before moving to Chicago. There she began her recording career, recording for independent and major labels including Lake Shore Jazz, Naxos Jazz, A440, Red Mark, Blue Note Records and others. Jackie met “Chicago’s First Lady of Jazz” pianist/vocalist Judy Roberts and began a long musical relationship recording two CDs, Santa Baby and Autumn Leaves. Jackie and her own combo recorded 3 critically acclaimed CDs for A440 and Blue Note: The Men In My Life (2003), Love Is Blue (2004) and Tangled (2006). Her last release, Starry Night (2009) was recorded live with chamber orchestra and features star-themed songs penned by arrangers who have written for such legends and noted artists as Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Doc Severinsen, and Bobby McFerrin.
Jackie’s extraordinary talent has taken her on multiple tours of Europe,
Morocco, Brazil, China and Taiwan. Nationally she has toured both coasts and in-between appearing in Los Angeles at Catalina’s, San Francisco at Yoshi’s, San Diego at Humphrey’s, and New York City at The Blue Note and The Josef Papp Public Theater. She was recently featured on A Prairie Home Companion (2014) where she gave Garrison Keillor a “Torch Singing” lesson . She has been a featured artist with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic in Chicago’s Millennium Park and Auditorium Theater for Ella Fitzgerald’s 95 Birthday Celebration. She has performed at international festivals in Detroit, Chicago, Paris, the Hague, Stuttgart, Edinburgh, Bologna, Beijing, Hong Kong, Thessaloniki, Sao Paulo and more.
Jackie has served multiple terms on the Board of Governors and Jazz Nominating Committee for the Recording Academy (Grammy Awards).