John Blackwell

john-blackwell John grew up in Columbia, South Carolina and started playing drums at age 3, learning from his father John Blackwell Sr., a drummer himself, who played with artists such as Mary Wells, King Curtis, Joe Simon, J.J. Jackson, The Drifters and many others.

As a teenager, John played in high school marching and jazz bands, and played in jazz clubs from age 13 until he graduated from high school. At 17, he played his first high-profile show with singer and swing bandleader Billy Eckstine. After high school, John attended Berklee College of Music, graduating in 1995.

From 1995 until present, John has played with many successful pop, funk, hip-hop, jazz and fusion stars, including Prince, Justin Timberlake, Cameo, Patti LaBelle, Utada Hikaru, Crystal Kay, P Diddy and Charlie Singleton. In 2013 he embarked on a concert tour with Chinese artist Xuwei, playing huge concerts in the major cities of China, including Beijing and Shanghai.

John performed at the 2008 and 2011 Buddy Rich Memorial Concerts, and released his debut album, The John Blackwell Project, in December 2009. He has two educational drum DVDs. The first is two-disc set entitled John Blackwell: Technique, Grooving and Showmanship, and the second is Master Series: John Blackwell, both on Hudson Music.


John endorses Tama drums and Zildjian cymbals and sticks.

Lesson Packs Featuring John Blackwell

Foot Technique Pack

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R&B Groove Pack 1

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