Q

Green Book composer Kris Bowers on teaching Mahershala Ali piano

The pianist and composer tells us how he taught Mahershala Ali to play piano like Don Shirley for Green Book.
Composer Kristopher Bowers attends The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences official screening of Green Book on Nov. 13, 2018 in New York. (Getty Images)
Listen17:55

Originally published on March 14, 2019. 

Green Book was the big winner at the 2019 Academy Awards, taking best picture, best original screenplay and best supporting actor for Mahershala Ali.

In his acceptance speech, Ali thanked composer Kris Bowers for teaching him how to convincingly play piano like his character, the famed jazz virtuoso Dr. Don Shirley. Bowers also scored the film and sat down at the keys in Ali's place to play some of the more complex music. 

Bowers joined q guest host Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe to talk about what it was like working with Ali and seeing his own hands on screen.

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.

Produced by Ben Edwards

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