John Black - Musician

I worked full-time as a musician in Sydney before moving to Canberra in the mid 80s to lecture at the School of Music. Today I work as a piano player, singer, arranger and composer. Sometimes I work solo but usually with other artists. Recent collaborations have been with Ben Schumann in the BlackSchu Band with shows at the Street Theatre, Canberrang, the Australian and the Thredbo Blues Festivals.

I've also worked recently with singers Lisa McClelland (Simply Divine), Tony Haley, Gaye Reid, Annie Sloane (Annie and the Armadillos), Angela Lount (Funky Fedoras), the Canberra Wind Symphony and the Canberra branch of The Baker Boys.

Currently I'm working with Gaye Reid and Lisa McClelland in a trio called Two Blondes + a Bloke. We're playing a whole range of styles including blues, jazz, latin and contemporary.

Before that I worked as Musical Director for Sweet Mischief with performances at the Manly and Thredbo Jazz Festivals and the Island Jazz Festival in Samoa.

My composition Millennium Jive was a finalist in the national Music Oz Awards in 2002.

My arrangement of Let It Be was performed in 2012 by the Sydney Philharmonia Choir as well as by the Sydney Children's Choir and Gondwana Voices.

And back in the dark ages in Sydney I worked with people such as Simon Gallagher, Judy Conelli, Marty Rhone and Tommy Steele.

A few highlights:

Playing a solo piano tribute to the composer Hoagy Carmichael on the Mike Willesee show

Playing support at the Canberra Theatre for Dizzy Gillespie and his United Nations Orchestra   

Studying Cuban piano styles in Havana with Andres Alén.

John Black - Teacher

I have been blessed with having had some great teachers. These people were both inspirational and thorough in their approach. In my own teaching I aim to emulate them.




Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages   University of Canberra 2010 


Certificate   Escuela Nacional de Musica, Cuba 1999 


Master of Music ANU 1998


Diploma of Music Education   NSW State Conservatorium of Music 1978


Teaching History


2000 - 2023  Piano teaching privately at O’Connor

2016            Lecturer in music curriculum for senior schools at Australian Catholic University

2013 - 2015  Performance Teaching Fellow at the ANU School of Music

2013 - 2014  Ensemble Director of the ANU Jazz Vocal Ensemble


2000 - 2019 Classroom music teaching in Canberra colleges. Subjects include swing, blues, latin, funk, world and classical music 


1985 - 1999  Full-time member of the jazz faculty of the Canberra School of Music, teaching: jazz piano, jazz arranging and composition, aural and research techniques at pre-tertiary, tertiary and postgraduate level.