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B.K. Jackson returns home for Valentine's Day gig

B.K. Jackson gained a following by playing the national anthem at Rays home games.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2013)

B.K. Jackson gained a following by playing the national anthem at Rays home games.

TAMPA — B.K. Jackson already has enjoyed the type of career most musicians strive for their entire life.

Since graduating from Blake High School, 24-year-old Bernard Kenneth Jackson has played in the famed Marching 100 band at Florida A&M University, opened for the likes of Chaka Khan and Tony Bennett, hit the late-night talk show circuit from Arsenio and Letterman to Fallon and Kimmel and rocked ESPN's midnight SportsCenter.

Oh, and not to toot his own saxophone, but he also toured with Prince as part of his 11-piece New Power Generation Orchestra for three years playing major arenas.

Now Jackson takes a rare break from his current 180-date concert tour with Trombone Shorty to return to his hometown for a Valentine's Day performance.

Jackson will play the Tace Lounge, 14380 N Dale Mabry Highway on Sunday. Doors open at 4 p.m. for a New Orleans-inspired dinner; the concert starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the concert or $50 if you want dinner as well. Call (813) 964-8224 for reservations.

"It's definitely something I'm looking to do more of," said Jackson, who gained acclaim playing the national anthem before Rays games.

"I wanted to create an intimate setting with my own band between the artist and the audience."

Jackson has his sights set on one day becoming a front man, launching a new album, inserting some surprises at the end of his sets and also following an educational track that has him scheduled to graduate from FAMU this summer.

He'll follow that with an online master's degree course in marketing and entertainment law so he can help plan the rest of his career.

"I don't want to perform for the rest of my life," he said. "I want to have the option of performing the rest of my life, and I think there's a big difference."

Contact Eric Vician at

B.K. Jackson returns home for Valentine's Day gig 02/09/16 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2016 12:47pm]
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