A native of the northern state of Sonora, Mexico, Arturo Márquez began composing music at age 16. The son of a violinist and mariachi, Márquez entered the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City where he studied with pianist Carlos Barajas and Jose Juis Alcaráz ... followed by composition studies in Paris with Jacque Casterede, and a Fulbright scholarship to the California Insitute of the Arts where he studied with Morton Subotnik, Mel Powell, Lucky Mosko, and James Newton.
During the ensuing years he explored a range of musical styles - from latin to jazz to contemporary - a journey that continues to this day. During the 1990's his inspiration for the series of compositions entitled Danzón was drawn from the traditional dancehall music of Veracruz, with its sensual infusion of Cuban and Haitian rhythms and syncopation. Danzón No. 2, is one of the truly iconic works of contemporary classical music. Often referenced as 'Mexico's second national anthem', the piece became wildly popular with audiences around the world during Gustavo Dudamel's triumphant European and US tours with the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra in 2007.
Márquez' work continues to be performed by a host of international orchestras and conductors including Gustavo Dudamel (Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra), Alondra de la Parra (Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas), and Carlos Miguél Prieto (National Symphony of Mexico & Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra).
Watch a performance of Gustavo Dudamel conducting Danzón No. 2 here.
Ben graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in film, with subsequent graduate work in the Instituto de Estúdios Latinamericanos, the School of Architecture, and the MBA Program.
He has been involved as a producer and writer in both documentary and feature film production, and has produced numerous music television specials including CAROLE KING, ONE TO ONE, Benjamin Britten's CURLEW RIVER, and several Willie Nelson specials.
He also produced FOR ALL MANKIND, a feature documentary about the Apollo moon missions which won both Audience Favorite and Jury Awards at the Sundance and Houston International Film Festivals, and was nominated for an Academy Award. His first screenplay, OCEAN OF STORMS, was purchased by actor/producer/director Warren Beatty. He has collaborated as a writer with Tony Bill (THE STING) and Tony Huston (THE DEAD).
Jackson is known for his Essence of Mexico Collection, in which he photographed the important festivals of more than 60 Indigenous Mexican folk cultures as they existed during the final decade of the millennium. The resulting 76,124 image archive is shared by the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art and the Nettie Lee Benson Library and Latin American Collection, Institute of Latin American Studies at The University of Texas.
He is also collaborating on a series of books with Artes de Mexico, Mexico's premier art publisher. An exhibition celebrating this collection, CYCLES: Images of Mexican Festivals by George O. Jackson, Jr., was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution's, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., September 2007 thru April 2008. Jackson's work is represented in many private and corporate collections and has been exhibited at major museums nationally and internationally.