Oscars 2022: Burlington County native Adam Blackstone takes on musical direction of Hollywood’s biggest night

BURLINGTON COUNTY, New Jersey – This is a great year for Philadelphia at the Oscars.

In addition to the 10 nominees with direct ties to the Delaware Valley, this year’s Musical Director also brings hometown style to Hollywood’s biggest night.

Burlington County native Adam Blackstone has been named Musical Director of the 2022 Academy Awards.

Raised in Willingboro, New Jersey, Blackstone has proven to be a force in the music industry.

Fresh from his role as musical director of the Super Bowl halftime show, 2022 is shaping up to be his year.

On Oscar Sunday, the University of the Arts alum wants to represent his hometown well.

“Congratulations to Philadelphia, greetings to Trenton, New Jersey,” Blackstone said. “Thanks to everyone in my hometown who supported not only me but all of us who are here for the Oscars.”

When Blackstone found out he was this year’s music director, he handpicked talent from his hometown to join him.

“I have several people in my orchestra this year from the East Coast. From the Philly area and from the Willingboro, New Jersey area,” Blackstone said.

Blackstone takes on this prestigious role at the Oscars, a year after another local musical star: Questlove from West Philadelphia.

“Kudos to Questlove. One of my incredible friends and mentors,” Blackstone said. “When I moved to Philly, The Roots took me under their wing and adopted me. With Questlove being musical director last year and me this year, we have a great lineage.”

Blackstone also performs at the Oscars.

“I have an all-star band for segment two, which is myself, Robert Glasper, Sheila E. and Travis Barker,” he said. “We also have some surprises in store. Musically, this is a show like no other.”

Its cast includes Beyonce, Reba McEntire, Billie Eilish and the cast of “Encanto” performing live for the first time.

His advice to all the young Adam Blackstones out there watching from the Delaware Valley is: be humble.

“Every gig is the audition for the next gig. When I was on stage in Philadelphia, when I was in church in New Jersey, I didn’t know who was watching me,” Blackstone said. “Each of those performances prepared me for where I am today.”

He adds that one of his senior orchestrators and conductor, Derrick Hodge, is also a Willingboro native and a Temple University graduate.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Oscars 2022: Burlington County native Adam Blackstone takes on musical direction of Hollywood’s biggest night

Dais Johnston

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