Career Jam 2021 Career Jam 2021

Behind the Music with Adam Blackstone

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Adam Blackstone
Music Director, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show (Shakira and Jennifer Lopez)

On TV, radio, or at a live concert at your favorite stadium, the Adam Blackstone sound has certainly permeated your eardrums. Blackstone is not only a multifaceted bass player, musician, Emmy-nominated music director and Grammy-winning writer, he is the musical mastermind behind the live shows of many of today’s biggest artists. 

He has served as the musical director for acts such as Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, and Eminem, and recently he cultivated the Super Bowl 54 Halftime Show alongside Shakira and J-Lo. With each new endeavor these artists become family and fall in love with Blackstone’s easy demeanor and standard for excellence. Blackstone’s TV legacy continues to expand as music director and on-screen personality. His expertise has shaped today's biggest shows, including the Oscars, NBC’s The Voice, the Grammy Awards, numerous BET, VH1, and MTV specials, and though his work as music director for the hit Fox shows The Four and The Masked Singer.

Blackstone was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and it was here that he began to hone his craft under the guise of his father and jazz musician Rod Blackstone, who remains one of his greatest musical influences. It was in a church playing drums at the age of 6 that his father discovered he had rhythm and perfect pitch. Once his family moved to Willingboro, New Jersey, which has never been short on talent, he picked up bass in high school and the rest is history. 

After earning a scholarship to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, it didn’t take long for Blackstone to become engulfed in the soul music pulse that was flowing through the city at that time. Beginning as a session musician, shortly after his start, he was touring the world.

In 2009 Blackstone partnered with his wife to start company BASSic Black Entertainment, LLC (BBE). BBE is a broad-based music service company that specializes in live music production, connecting musicians and studio production. Under the same moniker, they launched the BBE Record label in 2013.

Adam Blackstone’s versatility and musical ability has kept him on stages and screens across the world, but his faith and family keep him on the ground as he continues to create his own musical legacy.

Danielle "Queen D." Scott B.M. ’02
Berklee College of Music, Assistant Chair of Ensembles

Whether as an MC, vocalist, songwriter, producer, director, arranger, educator, or activist, Danielle “Queen D.” Scott is sure to come correct.

At a young age, Scott discovered her true creative identity in the expression of hip-hop. Between classical piano lessons and dreams of becoming an author of fiction, she found hip-hop was the perfect blend of her passion for music and storytelling. The music of Queen Latifah and the Notorious B.I.G. influenced her, and she took her first formal hip-hop class at Berklee College of Music as a part of its pioneer Hip-Hop Jazz Ensemble, making her the college’s first female MC. She later taught that class as well as Hip-Hop Writing and Production. Although Scott always has recognized the power of words and music, it was through her students that she saw their true impact, inspiring her to use hip-hop as social commentary, to volunteer, to teach media literacy workshops, and to seek performance opportunities with various nonprofits.

Ever wonder what it takes to go from being the bass player to becoming an Emmy-nominated music director and Grammy-nominated writer? Adam Blackstone, the musical mastermind behind your favorite live shows, such as Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, Eminem, and the Super Bowl Halftime Show, will take you behind the scenes.

Moderated by: Danielle "Queen D." Scott, Assistant Chair of Ensembles