Alfonzo Blackwell was born in Brooklyn, New York. Music was always a big part of his household and childhood upbringing. He learned to play the piano by ear at the age of six. He began playing saxophone at the age of eleven and became proficient on alto, tenor and soprano saxophones. Over the years he also started to play the drums, bass and guitar.
He was accepted at the Performing Arts High School in NYC and then continued his advanced studies at The Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College and Five Towns College for Music in Long Island, NY. While honing his craft, his jazz influences included Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Jackie McLean, Eric Dolphy and Charlie Parker. He performed at jazz clubs throughout the tri-state area and earned a weekly residency at a popular Manhattan music venue. His formula for mixing traditional jazz with modern contemporary soul and jazz is what makes up his musical presence to date.
Blackwell entered the contemporary jazz music scene in May 1995 with his debut CD release "Let's Imagine". After his instant NAC radio hit "Alfonzo's Love Theme", he forged ahead with more Top 10 Billboard-charting hits. "Hermina", an originally penned tribute to his mother, "Passion" and "Funky Shuffle" were chart toppers as well. Music video hits "Love No Limit" and "A Little Bit of Sax" was both nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Video Billboard Awards and he was a regular feature on BET and other popular music video channels. His "Funky Shuffle" and "Take One" (remix) music videos also generated buzz. His music compositions have been used for movie themes as well as television. He performed the theme song to the internationally successful television show Baywatch Nights, on which he was featured every week with David Hasselhoff. He also was featured on the movie soundtrack for the Rebecca De Mornay and Antonio Banderas movie Never Talk to Strangers, with the hit track "Love Sick". Blackwell has performed with musicians including Gladys Knight, The Whispers and Roy Ayers to name a few. He also performed with contemporary soul artists such as Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans and Brian McKnight.
Throughout his musical career, Blackwell has always made it a priority to pay tribute to jazz greats who came before him and inspired him by recording his own renditions of such classics as Quincy Jones' production of "Killer Joe", George Benson's "Breezin'", John Coltrane's take on "My Favorite Things" and Miles Davis' "All Blues". Growing up, Blackwell was strongly influenced by the various musical styles that his parents played in his home. He also produced and performed his rendition of MFSB's "Love Is the Message" on his self-titled LP.
Alfonzo Blackwell's sound, music and intensity are instantly identifiable. His songwriting, lush harmonies, arrangements, compositions, live performances and top-notch productions with a keen sense of phrasing and drama, is what has and continues to set him apart. He can tell a story with his music and it's a great story to hear and feel in your soul.Alfonzo Blackwell Wikipedia