Born in Connecticut in 1958, he began singing at an early age, with the intention to sing pop music. In high school, Gio joined the band and started taking alto saxophone lessons when he was 14. He also studied classical voice with Lee Dunkle. He got picked up by a band called, Black Strategy, which was offered the opening act for Earth, Wind and Fire. Right after high school, he joined the U.S. Navy. On the base, he played baritone horn through boot camp and marched in six boot camp graduations at Great Lakes, IL. During his stint in the Navy, he played bass guitar with a bluegrass trio, featuring Steven Snelgrove on banjo, which toured throughout New Jersey.  

In 1980, after leaving the Navy, Gio played sax with Little Richard  for a short while and left to play sax and sing lead vocals for the New Haven based band, Rain. He also played sax for another New Haven based band, ADX a funk-punk band.

 

Gio moved to Boston and got connected where he sang jazz lead vocals with many Berklee musicians including, keyboardist Alex Alessandroni, drummer Jay Bellerose and bassists Kai Eckhardt and Steve Mackey. And the funk band, Funk University.  

 

Gio spent five months on the Bobby Brown, 'Don't Be Cruel', tour as Sound Designer and Keyboard Technician.

 

He was moved to Milan, Italy to be Country Manager for Systems for the Gartner Group Italy. He continued to play all over Italy performing with many top musicians in Milan and Rome.  

He returned to the States to record his second CD and became Studio Manager for the Michael Bolton backed CityKids program in New Haven, CT.  

 

He moved to New Orleans to get into a more favorable environment to write music. Unfortunately, shortly after composing three CDs in 3 years, Katrina wiped all his hard work away when it claimed all of his possessions and recording masters in her wake.

 

He is also back to playing in New Orleans with a new band and working with many of New Orleans' top musicians and has his own recording studio, Bad Storm Studio.

Gio Blackmon