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Bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson hosts This Is My Music

Cathy Irving

Nadina Mackie Jackson sometimes calls herself a "blue-haired bassoonist." But she's not referring to a caricature of a senior citizen dabbling in the classics. Yes, Mackie Jackson's hair is bright and spiky and blue, but the woman herself is a fierce and creative champion of her beloved instrument.

Major symphony orchestras, the Canadian Concerto Project, award-winning Vivaldi recordings and even folk festivals are all on Mackie Jackson's resume. She helped found the all-bassoon Caliban Quartet and she performs in a trio with Canadian folk music legend, Valdy. She has also commissioned and recorded many new compositions for the bassoon, including several by her friend Mathieu Lussier. In addition to all of that, Mackie Jackson is an accomplished visual artist who also produces the large paintings for her children's show, Darwood's Wild Bassoon.

Mackie Jackson's personal story is also quite amazing. She grew up in a log house in the wilderness of Northern British Columbia and was in high school by the time she encountered a bassoon. Her instant love with the instrument took her to the University of British Columbia at age 16 and later to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. At the young age of 22, Mackie Jackson won a position with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and spent 10 years with the orchestra. She then moved on to performing with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and the Aradia Ensemble. Mackie Jackson teaches the bassoon at several Canadian universities and is currently with the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto.

On this edition of This Is My Music, Mackie Jackson shares her favourite selections and the stories behind her chocies.

Bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson hosts This Is My Music

Nadina Mackie Jackson shares her favourite music on This Is My Music


This Is My Music is heard Saturdays on Radio 2 at 10:00 am.