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Famous drummer





John Blackwell

Born 09-09-1973 in Columbia, South Carolina to John Keneth Blackwell Sr. and Mamie S. Blackwell. 

 Dec 1976

At age three John Jr. gets his first drumset, a record player and all his fathers old records for christmas from his father John Sr. Groups like Cameo, Prince, Patti Labelle, The Jacksons, Zapp & Roger, George Clinton and Parliament, and many others become favorites for John Jr. to listen to and see in concert. John Sr. takes John Jr. to all the concerts that come through Columbia, SC from age 2 to 21.

1990 - 91

John Jr. plays every weekend in Columbia and all around the Carolinas with local professional R&B, Jazz Fusion Group Robert Newton & Lotusfete at ages 15-17. Of course also in his High School Jazz and Marching Band.


John Jr. plays for Billy Eckstine at age 17 for his first professional gig.


John Jr. attends Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass.


John Jr. plays every week with Jazz Saxophonist Herman Johnson at Ryles Cafe in Cambridge, Mass. John also plays at Wally's Cafe during his college years.

During college, John Jr. and friend keyboardist Jethro De Silva audition for gospel act Bebe & Cece Winans. Jethro and John make it to the finals but did not get the gig. Back to Berklee.


After Berklee, John Jr. lands the drum chair with the funk of funk groups - CAMEO. John stayed with the group for three years.


John moves to LA and only stays for three days after landing the drum chair with Patti Labelle. During John's stay with Patti Labelle, John plays on Patti's Grammy winning CD, VHS, & DVD - Patti Labelle Live "One Night Only"

August 98

John Jr. lands his first Modern Drummer interview called Diamonds in the Rough as a Promising Up and Coming Drummer, Aug. '98 Issue.


John Jr. meets Prince and Larry Graham at a Patti Labelle concert and starts travelling to Minneapolis on a regular basis.


John performs in Japan for three months as the drummer for teen pop star, Utada Hikaru on her Bohemian Summer 2000 Nationwide Tour of Japan. John is also on Hikaru's current album Distance on the song "Parody."

Sept 2000

John joins Prince and The New Power Generation.

Bio from

The Official John Blackwell Site



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