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Multi-instrumentalist Mo Pleasure, from Connecticut in the USA is one of the most respected names in the music industry. Best known as part of Earth, Wind & Fire and as Michael Jackson’s keyboardist, Mo is constantly in demand on both sides of the Atlantic.
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Currently Bette Midler’s musical director, when not performing, Mo is nurturing artistic talent and planning the launch of his own record label.
At the moment Mo is also musical director of a special Motown Christmas concert which takes place this Thursday at St Giles in the Fields in the heart of London. A special project for the Haven + London – a social enterprise set up by Rev. Peterson Feital, the motown, soul and gospel concert features the best artists in London who are performing to raise funds to provide emotional, psychological and financial support to London’s most vulnerable creatives.
Where were you born?
Hartford Connecticut USA
When did you play your first musical instrument?
I started piano lessons aged 4
What Instruments do you play?
My main instruments are Piano, Bass, Trumpet. I also play guitar, drums & percussion.
Who were your main influences?
Firstly Church Gospel Choir & Soul Music at that time, there are many including Earth, Wind & Fire. I first went to see Earth, Wind & Fire aged 14, when I saw Verdine White playing Bass I immediately knew I had to play Bass. 17 years later I became Keyboard Player and Music Director for Earth, Wind & Fire, staying with them for 8 years.
Who gave you your first break as a professional musician?
Ray Charles, I joined Ray as Bass Player and Musical Director aged 21. Working with Ray Charles was an exceptional experience and taught me to be professional and organised as a performer.
Who have you been working with in recent years?
I was chosen by Michael Jackson to be his keyboard player on the “This is it Tour” having rehearsed with Michael and This is it Band for the tour, I was one of the last people to play with Michael Jackson. I then went on to play with Christina Aguilera, I am now Music Director for Bette Midler. I recently played with Bette & Nile Rodgers at a New York festival in October.
Where do you live?
My home is in Atlanta Georgia, USA. I perform around the world, currently most of my work is in America & UK.
How did you hear about Haven + London and why are you getting involved?
I was performing at The 606 Jazz Club in Chelsea, during a break I met Melanie Faldo from KBA PR, Melanie told me about Rev. Peterson and The Haven charity that he was preparing to launch. I immediately hit it off with Peterson, he’s a very special spiritual person with great insight to the challenges of artists and everyone involved with the arts. The Haven offers support in numerous ways to many artists, something that could have been very helpful to me through my career. When I was asked to be the Music Director for the Haven I didn’t hesitate to get involved and I’m currently designing the first event “The Haven Motown Christmas Concert” at St. Giles in the Fields, Soho, London on Thursday 8th December.
What are your plans for 2017
I am launching a new record label and media company with my business partner & manager, Tony Larking. We already have an extensive catalogue of unreleased songs that I have written or co written and recorded with some of the world’s top artists. We are also working on various new projects including a modern day musical with 24 songs being written by me, Tony Larking and our writing partner and fellow musician Bryan Smith. We are working with some exceptional artists in the UK, some of them will be performing at The Haven Concert, including Katy Hurt, Ivy Chanel, Kat Deal, Wayne Gidden & Ruth Elder.
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