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Alphonse Mouzon: From Charleston Heights to Bel Air

By Published: October 1, 2008
Not content to be merely a composer, multi-instrumentalist, film maker, and producer, Alphonse Mouzon has long been interested in acting as well. In 1975, Mouzon began studying acting at The Lee Strasberg Institute for Actors in Hollywood, California, the same school which produced such acting greats as Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro. Mouzon appeared in the 1996 motion picture That Thing You Do, starring Tom Hanks, and he also composed a portion of the music for the film. In 2004, he appeared in the movie First Daughter, starring Michael Keaton and Katie Holmes. His latest acting endeavor is The Dukes, scheduled for release in October, 2008 and starring Robert Davi, Chazz Palminteri, Peter Bogdanovich, and Elya Baskin. The film also features two songs composed by Mouzon. "It's a comedy/drama. We [portray] do-wop singers [who] were good when we were young. We get older and we're trying to come back. Then there's a couple of setbacks. It's funny stuff."

Alphonse Mouzon

When asked for his advice to young musicians or actors seeking to succeed in the entertainment industry, Mouzon may have partially revealed his own secret to success. "First you have to have a dream and then just follow it. Be assertive and never give up! Just be tenacious." Alphonse Mouzon's own dreams, tenacity, and assertiveness have undoubtedly helped him transcend the poverty and adversity of his earliest years. And those attributes, supplemented by his conspicuous talent, have also earned him a place in the rich and ever-broadening history of jazz.

Selected Discography:

Alphonse Mouzon, Jazz in Bel-Air (Tenacious, 2008)

Alphonse Mouzon Quintet, Live in Hollywood (Tenacious, 2001)

Alphonse Mouzon, The Night Is Still Young (Tenacious, 1996)

Alphonse Mouzon, On Top of the World (Tenacious, 1994)

Alphonse Mouzon, The Survivor (Tenacious, 1992)

Alphonse Mouzon, As You Wish (Tenacious, 1989)

Alphonse Mouzon, Distant Lover (Tenacious, 1982)
Herbie Hancock, Mr. Hands (Columbia, 1980)
Larry Coryell/Alphonse Mouzon, Back Together Again (Atlantic, 1977)
Al Di Meola, Land of the Midnight Sun (Columbia, 1976)
Larry Coryell/Eleventh House, Introducing The Eleventh House (Vanguard, 1972)
Weather Report, Weather Report (Columbia, 1971)
Wayne Shorter, Odyssey of Iska (Blue Note, 1970)

Photo Credits
Top Photo: Guy Fonck
Bottom Photo: Courtesy of Alphonse Mouzon

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