R.I.P. Daniel Jackson

Sax master leaves San Diego jazz scene many musical memories.

Daniel Jackson (1937–2014)
  • Daniel Jackson (1937–2014)
  • Image by Y.C. Wong

San Diego jazz sax master Daniel Jackson passed away this morning (September 3). Jackson was active in the jazz community since the late 1940s, famously touring Europe as a member of the Ray Charles band, and will be remembered as the mentor to dozens of local musicians.

Jackson, who was 77, died in the private home of a friend after a long struggle with cancer.

“At the end of his illness, he was holding court at his house,” said Turiya Mareya, who is the mother of Jackson’s daughter Leticia. “So many musicians, friends, and students came to visit him. He really loved that.”

Bassist Rob Thorsen visited Jackson two weeks ago: “He was very weak, but his eyes were clear, and he could communicate, but he was very tired. What a sad day for San Diego.”

Mr. Jackson is survived by wife Judy Jackson, son Daniel Jackson Jr., daughter Leticia Banker, and grandsons John and Jackson Banker.

San Diego luthier Dave Millard was at Jackson’s side two days ago. “He wasn’t in any pain. He was under hospice care, and he didn’t want any morphine. He was able to communicate with his eyes and by squeezing your hand. Man, he left a big hole, a huge hole. We’re all going to have to try and fill it.”

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