Blackbyrd McKnight calls his musical style which is fusion of jazz, funk and rock “Progressive Funk-Rock”.
Blackbyrd was grooved in the cradle by his father’s broad collection of jazz recordings as an infant, brainwashed by Jimi Hendrix in his teens, entered the University of Funk in his twenties, has never stopped evolving and rocking people ever since. In the early stages of his career, Blackbyrd mainly worked with Jazz musicians, such as Charles Lloyd, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters, and more. He then directed his path towards funk when he joined the P-Funk Camp in 1978 and funked people up for 30 years. He was the musical director of George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic from 1980 to 2008. Other than working with P-Funk artists such as George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, and Bernie Worrell, Blackbyrd has also worked with Miles Davis, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ron Wood & Bernard Fowler of the Rolling Stones, Bill Laswell, HR of Bad Brains, Macy Gray, Fishbone and Wyzard of Mothers Finest to name but a few.
His work with Will Calhoun from Living Colour, Melvin Gibbs from The Rollins Band and Ronny Drayton from Defunkt at Knitting Factory in September 2007 anticipated his musical movement for the near future, as well as the collaboration with Bernie Worrell to form the new supergroup “SociaLybrium” in 2008. Current members are Bernie Worrell, Keyboards, Melvin Gibbs, Bass, J.T. Lewis, Drums and Blackbyrd McKnight, Guitar.