Dr. Gregg Akkerman is the author of "The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story" and an Associate Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg.
Dr. Gregg Akkerman is a writer/performer/educator born in the southern California desert to a mother with the good sense to provide her son the same birthday as Duke Ellington. He worked many years as a pianist/vocalist throughout the Southwest before earning a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies from San Diego State University and a Doctorate of Arts in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado. His recent book, The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story, was published in 2012. Akkerman is also the editor of The Listener's Companion book series from Scarecrow Press.
Currently, Akkerman is an associate professor of music at the University of South Carolina Upstate and the founding director of The Spartanburg Music Academy. He still performs on a regular basis and specializes in music of the Great American Songbook. He likes cookies.
My Jazz Story
When I was 12, a much wiser and more experienced musician (he was 16!) said, "Just play any notes you want. It's called jazz." I was hooked.