2019 TVSB Global Citizen Award
Jackson “epitomizes strength through struggle,” wrote Daniel Bollag, in explaining why he was one of three to be honored with TV Santa Barbara’s 2019 Media Awards on Feb. 23, 2019, at the Alcazar Theatre in Carpinteria. Jackson was chosen for the Global Citizen Award because “I saw his TEDx talk,” Bollag wrote. “I have seen him work for charities locally. I have seen his spirit as a light.”
Jackson’s fellow honorees were music legend Kenny Loggins, singer/songwriter Glen Phillips of the alternative rock group Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Kimba Madsen.
2018 Teens Sing for Santa Barbara
First came the Thomas fire that ravaged Southern California in December 2017. Then came the mudslide that killed 23 people, young and old, in Montecito. Wanting to help somehow, Jackson was one of four local teens who conceived andorganized Teens Sing for Santa Barbara, which grew into a major benefit concert that raised more than $70,000 for the Unity Shoppe Disaster Survivors’ Fund. Jackson Gillies served as musical co-director/co-producer with Kenny Loggins, working with Tris Imboden, George Hawkins, Maitland Ward, Brian Mann, George Friedenthal, Bill Champlin, and other area musical greats to stage the phenomenal event at Santa Barbara’s Marjorie Luke Theatre with the amazing Teens Sing for
Santa Barrbara Choir, Momentum Dance Company dancers, and Elevated Dreams aerialists.
Teens Sing for Santa Barbara concert:
The story behind the concert:
2016 TEEN STAR USA WINNER
I was a newcomer to Santa Barbara when I met 2015 Teen Star winner Sydney Shalhoob who suggested I enter Teen Star 2016. I auditioned and became one of the 10 finalists who would perform at the Arlington Theatre. The winner is decided by audience text voting and voting by three celebrity judges. The weeks leading up to the finale we worked with a choreographer in preparation for a group number and had a recording and mentor session with music legend Barry De Vorzon.
On February 27, 2016, the limousines pulled up to the Arlington Theatre with the teen finalists. The red carpet was rolled out and KEYT TV was there to interview each finalist and welcome the celebrity judges.
Each finalist sang their first number and was evaluated by the celebrity judges. I sang “The Sky Is Crying” by Elmore James. I had just started to learn guitar and accompanied myself. Before intermission the text voting began. After the intermission, the first of the three finalists was announced and I was the first singer. I stepped onto the stage in a tuxedo with my piano accompanist, Renee Hamaty, and sang “Nessun Dorma” by Puccini. Following the song the judges and the audience rose to their feet and gave me a standing ovation, the first in Teen Star USA history.
Later in the evening following a second round of text voting, I was crowned Teen Star USA 2016! I am so grateful I entered the Teen Star USA competition. It taught me a lot. It was the beginning.
2019 Santa Barbara Project
Photographer Nathaniel Gray invited Jackson to be one of 200 Santa Barbarans from all walks of life to be included in this community photography project designed to raise awareness and break down discrimination here and nationally. The result is a compelling book featuring Gray’s stunning black-and-white portraits accompanied by autobiographies of the subjects.
2017 Profant Foundation Award
Jackson was thankful and honored to be the 2017 recipient the John E. Profant Foundation
for the Arts Pauline Award for Music.