b. 2 July 1973, Fairfield, California, USA. Avery’s first musical excursions were on guitar when he was 10 years old. Three years later, he switched to alto saxophone and played in his junior high school band. A little later, now in high school, he made a further change, this time to tenor saxophone, prompted through hearing records by John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon. Avery gained bandstand experience through sitting-in with visiting musicians, among whom were Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Elvin Jones, Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis. In his final year in high school, he studied with Joe Henderson, then attended the Berklee College Of Music where he won a number of prestigious awards including 1993’s Sony Innovation Award. He made his own-name recording debut at the age of 20, a session which also demonstrated his precocious compositional talents. Clearly, Avery, who also plays soprano saxophone, is a highly promising player and seems set to make a significant mark on jazz in the twenty-first century.
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