1973, New York City, New York, USA. Blackwell began playing saxophone at the age of 11, studying at the High School for Performing Arts in Manhattan. His studies also took him to Queens College and Five Towns College of Music. His jazz influences included Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy and Charlie Parker. However, he has not restricted himself only to the saxophone as a means of expressing his musical ideas; he also plays keyboards, bass, guitar and drums, displaying his ability on several of these instruments on 1998s Body Of Soul and all of them on 2000s The Time Is Now.
For a while, Blackwell considered a career as a professional body builder, winning competitions in this field. At the end of the 80s, however, he chose music over muscle and plunged into a full-time career as a professional musician. By the middle of the next decade his career choice was validated when his 1995 debut, Lets Imagine,...