Born: September 11, 1959 Primary Instrument: Guitar
Howard University played a pivotal role in the musical development of guitarist Andre Avelino. Howard Univ. was populated by a sizeable community of diverse global origins; Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Costa Rica, California, Mississippi, Alabama, New York etc. etc., all of which helped to nurture ones artistic sensibilities. While obtaining his BA in jazz studies, Avelino was exposed to great cultural traditions and superb instruction. Extremely talented students, many of whom are luminaries in the music world today such as Geri Allen, Wallace Roney, Clarence Seay, Chad Evans, Twinkie Clark, Greg Osby, Gary Thomas, and the late Noble Jolly among others who, because of their dedication to excellence, unknowingly inspired the aspiring guitarist. It was via the universities highly acclaimed jazz ensemble of Professor Fred Irby that Avelino gained experience in composing and recording.
Upon graduation, he joined the band of the late and dearly beloved Maria Rodriguez where he performed as guitarist and tres player. She served as a mentor and constantly encouraged the guitarist to compose and arrange while fostering the confidence that eventually led him to arrange for various bands in Puerto Rico. He was particularly honored when the great percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo and Angel Cachete Maldonado were included in one of his Latin jazz arrangements for former Fania recording artist Orlando Pabellon.
He also taught briefly at the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico extension program while going on to perform or record with various internationally acclaimed musicians of the islands jazz community i.e. Freddy Gumbs, Jimmy Rivera, Ramon Vasquez, Hector Matos, Paoli Mejias, Eric Figueroa, Jose Furito Rios, Mark Montes de Oca, Jose Cheguito Encarnacion, Hector Coco Barez, Alejandro Aviles, Freddie Camacho amongst others.
In hopes of extending his musical vistas, the guitarist relocated to Chicago where he performed or recorded in gospel and jazz genres with such musical luminaries as producer and composer Tony Smalls, Larry Gray, George Fludas, DeJuana Smalls, Malcolm Banks, and Tony Carpenter. He later moved to New Orleans where as a member of arranging great Wardell Quezergue's band, enjoyed the privilege of performing with several R&B legends such as Jean Knight, Aaron Neville, King Floyd, Gatemouth Brown, Juanita Brooks, and Theryl DeClouet, and as side man with saxophone great, Clarence Johnson.
Andre recently completed his tenure as the guitar instructor,improv and combo instructor at the Navy School of Music in Va. Beach. He has been published several times in Downbeat magazine and has conducted several clinics on guitar, improvisation, and Afro- Caribbean music. He also performs with the Latin Jazz Trio of Gerardo Colon Ortiz, The B3 Organ Trio of Clarence Creer, the contemporary jazz/R&B groups Against All Odds,The Kevin Flowers Band,Kwest, and the gospel jazz project Alexander/Cooper.