William Hazlitt, an English writer remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, is quoted as having said, “To be capable of steady friendship or lasting love, are the two greatest proofs, not only of goodness of heart, but of strength of mind.” And, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the American poet and educator, is quoted as having said, “Love gives itself; it is not bought.”
Both of these timeless quotations certainly apply to the eighty-year-old grandparents of Jason Lyle Black (also professionally known as “The Backwards Piano Man”) who celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in a YouTube video which features them playing a delightful piano duet. It is apparent from watching the video that the love that this adorable couple has for one another transcends the passing of time as they have grown together not only as husband and wife, but also through the years they have been enveloped in an eternal bond of friendship and devotion to one another.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer and statesman, once said, “A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.” And it was the witty Benjamin Franklin who stated “Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” Jason’s grandparents certainly have not hidden their God given talents, and their faces are aglow with joy and happiness as they share the piano to create a melodious sound. As they demonstrate their musical prowess with their flawless performance, it can be readily seen that Jason has inherited his amazing musical talents from a rich legacy of familial talent.
Jason Lyle Black has had a very successful career in the music business to date. He was born and raised in Livermore, California, and began playing the piano at the young age of 8-years-old. He studied classical piano with Mary Beth Cheney until he graduated from high school. He also studied piano with Professor Roy Bogas of Holy Names College for a short time. In addition to learning to play the piano, Jason studied trumpet with Jay Rizzetto of then-Cal State Hayward, and he also plays the organ.
He is a music composer, performer, YouTuber, educator, and entrepreneur. In his short bio on his Facebook page, Jason states, “I perform and share videos of virtuoso piano and musical comedy.” He is also a published arranger with Hal Leonard, the largest sheet music publisher in the world. His remarkable success as a YouTuber has garnered him national attention from such venues as the Huffington Post, Yahoo, CNN, Seventeen Magazine, and Good Morning America. In addition, he is a frequent concert performer and has performed various times in concerts with popular artist Jon Schmidt (now of the Piano Guys). He has also appeared in several live television performances in Hollywood where he is perhaps best known for his performance on the Ellen Degeneres show in 2010, playing his trademark backwards piano act, and in Tokyo, Japan on Fuji TV. And, he has also had the honor of sharing the stage with renowned artists such as William Joseph, Nathan Pacheco, Marshall McDonald, and other pianists and vocalists.