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About the Band

Exis Jackson name in band font is both the name of the band and the band founder's stage name. The founder's name is Bruce Jackson. The band was created in 1996 from the members of Dr. Jackson's family and continues to this date.

The four band members in formal black concert dress with bow ties

Galen, Kelsey, Bruce and Aaron ready for a Columbia Civic Orchestra Concert, March 2003

Exis Jaxn:  Vocals and Guitar

Born to a musician mother and geologist father, Bruce Jackson began playing and performing music early in life. After starting with piano, he found his love of strings on the violoncello in the fourth grade. In 1968 Bruce began performing rock and roll bass guitar on Dixon Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A blues, rock, jazz and classical musician who has been principal double bassist for seven orchestras, he has composed major works in contemporary music including two symphonic poems, three bass concertos, an oratorio, works for chamber ensemble, and music for jazz and popular combos. He has performed with Johnny Tillotston, Red Skelton, Melissa Manchester, Janice Boula, Kathy Johnson, George Russell, Herbie Green, David Baker, Herb Ellis, Charlie Bird, Terry Holmes, Dave Mason, Peter Nero and Sandi Patti. He has had a number of live TV appearances with the Walker Kays Jazz Trio, The Jazz Workshop, and Exis Jaxn. He has performed musical theater at the Actors Theater of Louisville, The Civic Theater of Indianapolis, dinner playhouses, and academic theaters. Through the spring of 1995, he performed on live radio broadcasts for KWKH's Saturday Country Jamboree based in Shreveport, Louisiana. In January 1996, he moved to Columbia, Missouri, where he performed with a variety of groups including Next Exit, Memories Big Band, Swingland Big Band, Tom Andes, The Larry Ross Jazz Group, Curly Joe Harper and the Rib House Blues Band, the After Hours Swing Sextet, and The Swingin Axes. With his three sons, he formed the jazz, blues and popular music band Exis Jaxn, composed a diverse repertoire for the band, and performed in festivals, churches, and academic venues. All four have performed full seasons with the Columbia Civic Orchestra and the 9th Street Orchestra. They spend most of their time playing in Columbia churches, including Community United Methodist Church, Bethel Baptist Church, the Unity Center of Columbia, and the Missouri United Methodist Church.

Kelsey on vibraphone, Aaron on set and Galen on bass guitar

Kelsey, Aaron and Galen play historic Frederick Hotel fundraiser in Booneville, Missouri, July 2004

Aaron: Percussion

In December 2007 Aaron Jackson graduated from the University of Missouri—Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology ) with degrees in computer engineering and computer science. His resume at graduation included Web designer for Lincoln University, Riverview Technologies and Carfax, and GPS programmer for the U.S. Geological Survey and Garmin. He now works for Garmin in Kansas City.

Aaron began playing a small drum set and gave his first performance at the age of five at the Methodist Church in Muncie, IN. Starting in elementary school Aaron was active in band programs and jazz ensembles. He served as the principle percussionist for the Columbia Civic Orchestra while in high school and at UM-R. He now lives in Olathe, Kansas, and plays percussion in the Olathe Community Band and Olathe Community Orchestra and the Kansas City Winds. He has studied percussion under Dr. Julia Gains, University of Missouri—Columbia, and Ricardo Sosa, a native of Brazil. Aaron has participated extensively in church music programs and music theater productions, and attended the Missouri Summer Music Institute at the University of Missouri. He has served as percussionist in the orchestra, jazz band and numerous other ensembles at the University of Missouri—Rolla and was very active in the music fraternity during his four years there. Although he plays set and most other percussion instruments well, currently Aaron's primary instrument is timpani.

Kelsey:  Keyboards and Vibraphone

Kelsey Jackson is a senior studying mathematics and chemistry at Columbia College. Kelsey began studying piano in the fifth grade. In junior high he played percussion in the band, and piano and mallet instruments in the jazz band. During high school he participated in the highly selective private piano studio of Dr. Meg Gray, where for three years he earned a "Superior" ranking from the Guild of American Pianists for his age group. Since a very early age he has been active as a vocalist and pianist in churches and academic venues. He also played percussion and mallet instruments in the Columbia Civic Orchestra, including playing the celesta in Tchaikovsky's Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.  Kelsey is a member of the band for Unity Center of Columbia.

Galen:  Bass Guitar and Double Bass

Galen Jackson is a freshman mechanical engineering student at the University of Missouri—Columbia. He has been performing on bass in churches and schools since the third grade. He played double bass in the Columbia Public Schools Orchestra and bass guitar in a variety of jazz ensembles while attending Hickman High School. He was selected for the Hickman High School Jazz Band during his sophomore and junior years. He has also performed in several professional music theater productions.

Galen began playing with the Columbia Civic Orchestra as a high school freshman and during his senior high school year became its principal double bassist. He continues to play as principle bassist for the Columbia Civic Orchestra and the 9th Street Orchestra in Columbia. As a Mizzou student he plays in one of the performing jazz combos and the Jazz Lab big band. Galen also serves in bands at the Unity Center of Columbia, Missouri United Methodist Church, and the Wesley Foundation and plays in a handbell group at MUMC.

To view pictures of the band over the years, see The Band Grows Up.

Exis Jaxn Home About the Band The Band Grows Up (Pictures) Repertoire

Last update: Jan. 4, 2009