Alvin King

Mobile, Alabama Freelance Artist

Alvin King is a native of Mobile, Alabama whose passion for music was evident at an early age. He learned to play the trumpet at the age of 11 and taught himself to play the piano at the age of 12. Alvin attended high school at John L. LeFlore where he participated in the marching, concert, and jazz band. While still in high school, Alvin became a member of the Youth Community Jazz Ensemble at Bishop State Community College of Mobile, Alabama. It was during this 3-year span that Alvin began to learn the key components of musical composition and how to perform with an artistic approach to Jazz. Alvin revered the Youth Ensemble and its existence as the most influential and beneficial program to any young jazz musician coming up in the Mobile area at that time. A most memorable moment for this young musician during high school, was when he had the opportunity to perform at Harlem’s historic “Apollo Theater” in 1990 as a horn section member with the “Davis Family Gospel Singers” out of Mobile, Alabama.

Upon graduating high school, Alvin decided to attend college at Tuskegee University, where he would graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Although Tuskegee did not have a music program, Alvin started to compose music with the help of one of his greatest influences, Mr. Warren L. Duncan, Director of Bands at Tuskegee University. It was at Tuskegee that Alvin had written and copyrighted his first original song in 1996, “Harmony”, which understandably was the title of his independently released debut project in 2011.

After completing college, Alvin returned home to start his engineering career. While still nurturing his love of music, Alvin played in several brass bands and reception bands. He also hosted some local jam sessions. His musical influences are many and they are not all confined to one genre, but when it comes to jazz the list includes the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis, Arturo Sandoval, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Cootie Williams, and of course Louis Armstrong. He feels that listening to these musical giants will always inspire him to strive toward becoming a better musician and person. Alvin has stated, “There is a lot you can learn about yourself when working so hard at something as vast as music, and you always feel like you are barely scratching the surface”.

While currently maintaining his career as an engineer, Alvin is also a freelance trumpeter in Mobile, Alabama. In 2015, Alvin started a jazz quintet by the name of “The Fifth K’nection Jazz Band” that performs regularly in Mobile and surrounding areas. Continuing in the brass band traditions of Mobile, he started a brass band called “The OutlawZ Brass Band” with the help of some high school bandmates and friends in 2018. He is also a member of an 8 piece high energy ‘swamp soul’ band called “Red and The Revelers”, also out of Mobile, Alabama. In 2022, Alvin won the category of “Best Jazz Musician” as the people’s choice for the Lagniappe’s Nappie Awards. He was also nominated for an Artsy Award as “Best Solo Performer” in 2018 by the Mobile Arts Council. Now regularly playing throughout the city of Mobile and surrounding areas, his musical passion that drives him is evident with every performance. As simple as it may sound, Alvin just plays for the love of music which is expressed through every note.

“When I played the first notes on the X-13, I immediately thought that the search was over! I honestly felt like this horn was made specifically for me. I don’t know what the end goal was at Edwards when making the X-13, but if it was to make an amazingly responsive horn that is versatile with a huge sound… they nailed it!”

Alvin King