Jack Brokensha

Born: 
01/05/1926
City: 
Nailsworth
Region: 
Adelaide
Country: 
Australia
Died: 
10/28/2010
Years Active: 
1940's-2000's
Instruments: 
Vibes
Associated Artists: 

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Brokensha was born in Nailsworth, Adelaide, Australia. He initially studied percussion under his father, and played xylophone in vaudeville shows and on radio. He played with the Australian Symphony Orchestra during 1942-44, and played in a band in the Air Force in 1944-46. Forming his own group, he played in Melbourne in 1947-48, Sydney in 1949-50, Brisbane later in 1950, and Adelaide in 1951. In 1953 he moved to Windsor, Ontario, Canada with pianist Bryce Rohde; they formed the Australian Jazz Quartet the following year with Errol Buddle and Dick Healey. This ensemble (sometimes recording as a quintet or sextet) toured together until 1958 after a tour of Australia.

Brokensha then moved to Detroit, Michigan, USA, where he was hired by Berry Gordy of Motown Records as a percussionist, becoming one of the few white members of Motown's Hitsville U.S.A. recording studio's house band, The Funk Brothers. He was given the nickname "White Jack", to distinguish him from Jack Ashford, an African American percussionist nicknamed "Black Jack". Following further tours Down Under with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Stan Freberg, Brokensha founded his own music production company. He did a session with Art Mardigan in 1963, and after this became more active in disc jockeying and writing music for television. He recorded as a leader again in 1980 and continued to lead his own group well into the 1990s. The Australian Jazz Quartet also reunited for tours and recording in 1994.

Jack died in Sarasota, Florida, of complications from congestive heart failure at the age of 84.

Discography

Released: 1973

Concerts

Event Datesort ascending Venue City Region Country
Michigan Jazz Festival 07/21/2002 Schoolcraft College Livonia Michigan USA
1997 Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival 08/29/1997 Hart Plaza Detroit Michigan USA
1996 Ford Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival 09/02/1996 Hart Plaza Detroit Michigan USA
Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival 09/06/1992 Hart Plaza Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 11/05/1988 Bird of Paradise Ann Arbor Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 11/04/1988 Bird of Paradise Ann Arbor Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 04/18/1988 Kingsley Inn Bloomfield Hills Michigan USA
Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival 09/06/1987 Hart Plaza Detroit Michigan USA
Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festival 08/29/1986 Hart Plaza Detroit Michigan USA
Austin-Moro Big Band 08/12/1983 Hotel Pontchartrain Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 11/13/1982 Tweeny's Café Birmingham Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 11/12/1982 Tweeny's Café Birmingham Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 11/06/1982 Tweeny's Café Birmingham Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 11/05/1982 Tweeny's Café Birmingham Michigan USA
Montreux-Detroit International Jazz Festival 09/01/1980 Detroit Music Hall Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha / Bess Bonnier Trio 09/20/1979 Detroit Institute of Arts Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha 12/21/1977 Top of the Ponch Detroit Michigan USA
Detroit Lives! - A Jazz Reunion 07/17/1976 Masonic Temple Detroit Michigan USA
1st Annual Detroit Jazz Conference 04/17/1966 Wayne State Community Arts Auditorium Detroit Michigan USA
1st Annual Detroit Jazz Conference 04/16/1966 Wayne State Community Arts Auditorium Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 01/30/1965 Momo's Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 01/29/1965 Momo's Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 01/28/1965 Momo's Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 01/23/1965 Momo's Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 01/22/1965 Momo's Lounge Detroit Michigan USA

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