The Backwards Piano Man - Jason Lyle Black

Livermore native Jason Lyle Black

Livermore native Jason Lyle Black returns to his hometown on Friday, Feb. 28, for a one-of-a-kind experience that blends popular music with his own comedic flair. A trained classical pianist, Lyle has the remarkable ability to play as easily sitting backwards as forwards, while performing music from Disney and Broadway classics, to songs from the Beatles, AC/DC, and movie theme songs.

He has thrilled audiences as a guest with orchestras and choirs across the country, and as a headline performer on luxury cruise ships around the world. He first performed at the Bankhead Theater a decade ago in a Livermore Talent Competition, and now returns to headline his own show as part of the Bankhead Presents season.

Black was born and raised in Livermore. Both his parents graduated from Livermore High School and he was a valedictorian for the Granada High School Class of 2005, where he played in the marching and jazz bands. He started playing classical piano when he was 8 years old, and while he also studied trumpet and organ, piano became his passion. He was just a teen when he entered a talent show and decided to learn how to play the keyboard backwards.

A self-taught composer, Black began writing music in high school, and recorded and released his first piano album while still a student. He has since released four more albums, including his most recent, “Piano Preludes,” which debuted at No. 1 on iTunes and No. 2 on the Billboard music charts. As an arranger and YouTube star, Black has reached millions with his unique blend of music and comedy.

This is Black’s first performance at the Bankhead as a nationally touring entertainer, but local Livermore audiences were among the first to recognize and appreciate his talent years ago. During high school, he and other musicians from Granada organized a benefit concert in Livermore for victims of the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. He received a music scholarship from the Livermore Rotary and was named a Pedrozzi Foundation Scholar in 2005.

In addition to his remarkable talents on the piano, Black brings a comic touch and engaging stage presence to his performances.

According to The Deseret News, he delivers “beautiful medleys and a piano set rich with clean humor.” His deft skills on the piano are mixed with a verbal fluency that is perhaps a result of another talent he exhibited during his school years in Livermore … as a five-time school and two-time regional spelling bee champion.

Remaining tickets for Black’s single performance at 8 p.m. are just $30. While all $20 regularly priced tickets are sold, tickets for students and military personnel remain available at that price. For tickets, go to lvpac.org or call (925) 373-6800.