Ebony on the Ivories: Twelve Black Artists Who Are Known as Piano Virtuosos

Confession time, here’s what I got: I took piano lessons when I was younger. For years. And while I ultimately appreciated learning the keys, I didn’t take advantage of that time being taught by our next door neighbor, Ms. McLetchie, and didn’t pursue what could’ve been a lucrative lifestyle. Now granted, I was only eight while taking lessons, but still I should’ve lived in the moment and the music instead of worrying about how taking those 100 steps to Ms. Mac’s living room interfered with cartoons or playing outside. Sigh. OK, now that I got that off my chest, it’s time to show appreciation for just a few Black artists who truly appreciated the art of piano playing. They are virtuosos in their own right, and giving them their flowers feels right. Check the videos below and experience some of the greatest Black entertainers who have ever done it.

Ray Charles

Nina Simone

Hazel Scott

El Debarge

Aretha Franklin

Alicia Keys

Jamie Foxx

Roberta Flack

Miles Davis

Greg Phillinganes


Stevie Wonder

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