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 Date Venue City Regionsort descending Country
3rd Annual American Festival of Music 08/05/1961 Cobo Arena Detroit Michigan USA
Austin-Moro Big Band 08/12/1983 Hotel Pontchartrain Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Trio 09/25/1960 Au Sable Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Nancy Wilson 03/29/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Ruth Olay 10/21/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Louis Armstrong & His All Stars 07/21/1962 Cobo Arena Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Trio 08/16/1960 Au Sable Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Trio 05/23/1961 Au Sable Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 09/03/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Eddie Hazell Trio 04/13/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 08/30/1963 Cork & Embers Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 08/28/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Trio 09/07/1960 Au Sable Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 10/12/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 06/07/1962 Au Sable Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Detroit Lives! - A Jazz Reunion 07/17/1976 Masonic Temple Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 04/18/1988 Kingsley Inn Bloomfield Hills Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Trio 10/04/1960 Au Sable Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Nancy Wilson 03/31/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Ruth Olay 10/23/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 07/27/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Trio 08/18/1960 Au Sable Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Trio 05/24/1961 Au Sable Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 09/05/1962 Baker's Keyboard Lounge Detroit Michigan USA
Jack Brokensha Quartet 05/25/1962 Au Sable Lounge Detroit Michigan USA

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