It was the early 1970’s when young Gisele Jackson learned to love music. In her father’s version of daycare, Aretha Franklin, Mavis Staples, and John Lee Hooker were her capable babysitters, while he whipped up mouth-watering soul food in the kitchen of a Black-owned bar in her native Baltimore. Gisele delighted at the music coming from the jukebox, marveling at the effect it had.
At 12, she became a student of the local live music scene, which having already given birth to many of the first Black music greats was now welcoming fledging icons of the 70s and 80s. It was then, front and backstage, that she learned the art of entertaining and this would eventually influence her personal style. Entranced by seeing the fellow young Jackson 5 perform just a stone’s throw from her seat, further incited Gisele’s childhood inclination to sing. By the time she was a freshman studying Fine Arts on a talent scholarship at Howard University, she was fronting and gigging throughout Washington, D.C. with her first classic soul band. "American soul music is timeless," says Ms. Jackson. “It is just a righteous music with astute vocals and funky instrumentals.”
Before making Brooklyn, NY her heart and home, Gisele toured as a ‘Raylette’ with Ray Charles at the peak of his career, having since also shared many a stage with the incomparable Donna Summer and James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. She has performed in 18 countries in North America, Asia, Europe and Africa. She has performed solo at the leading jazz houses in the U.S.; she has performed as the opening act for Tito Puente, Bette Midler, The Commodores, the B-52’s and a host of other music giants across a variety of genres; she has performed at Carnegie Hall (with Kid Rock); she has performed at festivals and major openings, at numerous celebrity weddings and corporate events for many Fortune 500 companies. She has performed at Hollywood premieres and award ceremonies and has appeared on-screen singing in the film “First Wives Club” (Paramount Pictures). She was requested to perform at the Inauguration of U.S. President William H. Clinton. And so she went to sing for Bill.
Billboard magazine called her a “diva” on the heels of her worldwide smash hit, the club classic “Love Commandments.” The single reached No. 3 on Billboard’s dance chart, catapulting Gisele into the hierarchy of House and the consciousness of the Dance Music community. This power track was on the playlists of every top House music DJ in the World. She ‘let them have it’ at legendary dance clubs Vinyl and Twilo in New York City, Billboard Live and Axis in Los Angeles, The Red Ball in Toronto, and at London’s Ministry of Sound.
Her stage credits include Effie in ‘Dream Girls’, Bessie in the ‘Life & Death of Bessie Smith’, Evilene in ‘The Wiz’, Luttibelle in ‘Purlie’ and Frankie in ‘Carmen Jones’. Gisele has appeared on television, including a worldwide commercial campaign for Johnnie Walker.
Today, Gisele is a cultural ambassador on a creative continuum that allows her to share and interpret her beloved music with audiences around the world - from New York to Norway, Morocco to Malaysia and from Barcelona to Beirut.
It wasn’t long before this young soul sister with the Angela Davis afro began to stun audiences with her own world class voice and show-stopping stage antics.
Ms. Jackson promises a high energy evening of entertainment as front woman of a full band of stand-out musicians. Gisele’s 5 octave vocal range features spirited interpretations of classics, hits and b-sides from the 30s to last week as her stage persona transforms from jazz songbird, to blues lady, to dance hall diva. It is a full celebration of soul, dance & disco, funk, American jazz, blues and R&B tunes.