A native of Camden, New Jersey, Jamal P. Dickerson started formal music studies during grade school. By high school he was studying with many Philadelphia jazz greats, including Terrell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Shirley Scott, Cullen Knight, and Leon Mitchell. He is a trumpeter and world percussionist, with emphasis on West African music. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Morgan State University in 1999 and a Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers in 2010. During a thirty day intensive in Guinea, West Africa he studied Djembe family percussion, Balafon and Kora, under the direction of Moussa Diabate, with the African National Ballet, Les Ballet Africain De Guinea.
In 2000 Jamal developed what has become the award winning jazz program at Creative Arts Morgan Village School in Camden, NJ. As a successful music teacher and band director, he became a local inspiration for many in underserved Camden. He was recognized nationally with the Milken Family Foundation Educator Award and the NAACP 2013 Crystal Award. His collaborative teaching methods were featured in a NJ Education Association Emmy winning video about the school’s music program in, “Musical Thread”.
Jamal’s compositions and arrangements led his students to three New Jersey state championship titles. Under his leadership Camden teenagers have performed with Stevie Wonder, Esperanza Spaulding, Janelle Monae On Black Girls Rock, Eric Lewis, Christian McBride and Robin Eubanks, to name a few