Jackson Allers (LB)

Jackson Allers (LB)

Writer, music journalist, filmmaker and broadcaster, Jackson Allers has focused the majority of his work on the subcultures of his surroundings. He has documented the plight of farm workers in rural North Carolina with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Coles (Duke University 1990-1994); advocated for the legal rights of the Roma population in Kosovo (2004-2006); created digital-audio archives for a book on ancient Bedouin stories in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley (2010), and spent the better part of 25-years writing about and documenting independent arts and culture movements during his travels.

For nearly 9-years, Jackson has been based in the Arab world (Beirut, Lebanon) where he has been reporting on politics, and the independent musical/artistic trends in the Arab world for outlets like VICE, The National, Rolling Stone, Al Jazeera English, BBC, Democracy Now!, National Public Radio, Red Bull Music Academy Magazine, Free Speech Radio News, and regionally for the upstart underground culture magazine Audio Kultur (Lebanon). Much of this content is mirrored on his website - Beats and Breath (est. 2009). He is the former Managing Editor now Contributing Editor of the prestigious global hip-hop news and culture website – World Hip Hop Market (est. 2004), and his work on Arab hip-hop in the region has been cited frequently as a reference point in numerous academic and broadcast settings. Jackson is currently writing a book and the rise of the Arab hip-hop movement, and has begun producing a series of documentaries (radio, TV) and written compendium pieces on the emergence of electronic music production in the Levant.

And for the last year, he has been a producer/host for Red Bull Music Academy Radio's new online radio show Quarter Tone Frequency - aimed at exposing the best independent music in the Middle East to wider audiences. Jackson has focused much of his energy the last two-years as a filmmaker and DP, shooting live session music videos and innovative web-based films with regional and international indie bands. On his off time, he digs for records in the flea markets and antique stores around the Middle East and North Africa.

Beats and Breath launched in 2009 as a virtual platform to showcase the work of Jackson Allers. Since launching the site, Beats and Breath has been featured in publications like TIME Magazine, The National, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and several regional culture websites. Television and radio appearances include interviews for Red Bull Music Academy Magazine, National Public Radio, Afropop Worldwide, Swedish TV, CBC, Arte, France5, Pacifica Radio, Free Speech Radio News, and several regional broadcast outlets in the Arab world.

Independent Music Trends in the Levant Since 2000

Over the last 15-years, musical trends in the Arab world have exploded outside of the realms of what has been considered "traditional" or "heritage" music, and certainly veering far away from Arab pop music that dominates the satellite video music channels and regional mainstream radio stations. In this session, music journalist and filmmaker Jackson Allers will take you on a journey discussing the evolution of alternative and independent music trends in the Arab world - focusing on the material coming from the LEVANT (Egypt, Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon) both before and after the Arab revolutions of 2011.