"John studied with me just about his entire time at Berklee. I knew he was good, but it wasn't until some time after he graduated, when I caught him playing on tvwith Patti LaBelle, that I realized the full spectrum of his abilities and talent. I remember thinking, 'man, this must be one of those old Motown session guys,' then the camera went to the drummer and, to my surprise, it was John Blackwell."
With his own band, the John Blackwell Project, he released the album '4Ever Jia', a tribute to his late daughter, Jia. In 2004, Blackwell established the Jia Kennie Blackwell Memorial Scholarship, which supports outstanding female musicians at Berklee.
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