The 2022 Academy Awards will have something a little different for this year’s telecast: an all-star band to underline the show, featuring pianist Robert Glasper, headline-making drummer Travis Barker, legendary lead singer Sheila E., and music director Adam Blackstone.
Here we break down five things to know about Blackstone, an all-star bassist and longtime music director and producer who is joining the Oscars production team to make the night one to remember.
He’s A Multi-instrumentalist, Songwriter, And Producer
Born in Trenton, New Jersey on December 4, 1982, Blackstone was surrounded by a family of musicians, as he began playing drums in the church while his father was the organist and his mother sang in the choir. Although he originally had his sights set on being a drummer, he made the switch to bass in 3rd grade and went on to join his high school’s jazz band. After earning a scholarship to the University of Arts in Philadelphia, he became heavily involved in the soul music scene in the area, going on to be a full time session musician and travelling the world.
Adam then caught the ear of drummer and producer Questlove of The Roots and moved on to producing and working on shows. His first big gig was Jay-Z‘s Fade to Black show at Madison Square Garden in 2003 as well as Dave Chappelle’s Block Party in 2005, which ultimately put him on the map to work with more A-list artists.
He’s Directed & Played With A Star-Studded List Of Performers
Adam has served as a Musical Director for a slew of heavy-hitters, including, but not limited to Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5, Demi Lovato, Jill Scott, Kanye West, and more.
He’s Been On ‘The Voice’ & Has Shaped Other Shows
Having worked with Maroon 5, Adam then branched out to working as an advisor to The Voice coach Adam Levine during season one of the show. Moreover, the musician has worked on/helped shape numerous other television broadcasts, including, of course, the Oscars, as well as the Grammy Awards, Super Bowl half time shows, the Critic’s Choice Awards, and several specials for BET, MTV, and VH1. Moreover, Adam also worked as Musical Director for the FOX shows The Four and The Masked Singer and musically directed this year’s Super Bowl halftime show which featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar.
He’s Been Formally Recognized & Rewarded By The Industry
Considering his work with several musical acts and time in the business, it’s no surprise the musician has been recognized for his work. Adam has received two Primetime Emmy nominations for his work as musical direction on two Super Bowl halftime shows: the 2018 show starring Timberlake and the 2020 show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira.
Adam was also granted a Grammy nomination for co-writing Musiq Blackstone‘s “Teachme,” a 2007 nominee for Best Rap Song.
He Runs His Own Production Company
In addition to his own musical ventures plus his directing other performers, Adam owns his own production company, called BASSic Black Entertainment, LLC with his wife, Kaisha Blackstone. The company, founded in 2008 and often known as BBE, is described on his website as a “broad based music service company” that specializes in live musical production, helps to connect musicians with one another for networking and collaboration opportunities, and studio production. Under the moniker, the company also branched out with the BBE record label in 2013. Currently, Kaisha works as the CFO while Adam runs the more creative side of the operation.