Born 09-09-1973 in Columbia, South
Carolina to John Keneth Blackwell Sr. and Mamie S. Blackwell.
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
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"
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
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."
John joins Prince and The New Power Generation.
Official John Blackwell Site