Avantretro (Charlie Rossiter & Al DeGenova) is a Chicago-based performance poetry duo that uses a variety of techniques and tools including store-bought and home-made musical instruments, audience participation, and unorthodox vocalizations to present their original poetry that gets at the essence of what it means to be human. Al's major instrument is saxophone; he also plays flute. Charlie plays conga and other hand percussion instruments. Since joining poetic forces in 1998, they have been featured performers at Printers Row Book Fair; Around the Coyote Arts Festival; the Detroit Opera House; and major poetry venues around Chicago and the Midwest. They are frequent guests on Rick Kogan's Sunday morning program on WGN radio. Back Beat, their co-authored book of memoir and poetry, has been praised by such poets as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jimmy Santiago Baca and Maria Gillan. They were among the handful of poets selected to be featured at the 2005 Chicago Blues Festival. Avantretro also performed at the 2003 Best of the Best Showcase for west suburban library programmers and were among those who performed at Chicago Artists for Dean during the primaries for the last presidential election. Charlie Rossiter--is known for his dynamic poetry performances at places like the Dodge Poetry Festival in NJ; Bowery Poetry Club and Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NYC; the Green Mill, Chicago; the Newport Beach Literary Series, in Oregon and NPR's 'The Poet and the Poem.' He also hosts the audio website, poetrypoetry.com, is a co-founder of Poetry World Radio, a web-based 24/7 poetry radio station, and has organized numerous poetry readings for peace and justice. Al DeGenova--has performed widely as a poet and as lead saxophonist for the Chicago-based blues group, The Seven Sons. His years as an editor at Downbeat inform his blues-based poetry. Al is also the co-founder and editor of After Hours, a bi-annual literary magazine of Chicago literature and art, now in it's fifth year of publication. Keyboard man, Cole DeGenova, took 1st Place in the 2005 state-wide Illinois High School Jazz Piano competition. Despite his youth, he has played at many major jazz venues in the Chicago Area. Percussionist, Jack Rossiter-Munley has been playing drums for 12 years and has been featured at numerous venues around the east and midwest.