Whatever Comes to Mind
Justin Avery is a versatile 24-year-old performer whose original arrangements have been performed from his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan all the way to South Africa. He grew up in a very musical family. His father and mother were both singers and belonged to a group that toured the country in the 1970s. Justin got his first taste of performing live at his father's nightclub, 'Dill's Olde Towne Saloon.' He developed a love for singing and playing the piano at an early age. His versatility is also underscored by the width of his musical experiences. He has produced, written and performed music since he was a teenager. His musical development has been greatly influenced by artists such as Steve Wonder, Prince, The Beatles, Al Jareau, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sting and Steely Dan. Justin began working professionally at age 14 as a singer, dancer and musician. By his senior year he had released his first CD, 'Undecided,' comprised of songs he wrote and performed. He topped off his high school career by writing a 9-minute composition for a benefit concert that was performed by a show choir and 8-piece band. His love for music has continued at Western Michigan University, where he is a Jazz Studies major. He has been a member of the prestigious Gold Company and Gold Company Sextet led by Dr. Stephen Zegree. Justin's arrangements and original compositions have been featured during Gold Company and Gold Company Sextet performances at the IAJE Festival in Long Beach, California, in Alice Tulley Hall in New York City, South Africa, IAJE Festival in NYC and in Latvia and Estonia. He also found time during his freshman and sophomore years at Western to produce, write and record a second CD of all original music titled, 'Let the Clouds Decide.' In the summers of 2001-2, he was the musical director of the Schussy Cats, a collegiate-based performance group that showcased some of the top young musical talent in the Midwest. Justin was a member of a 5-piece band called Doc Brown based in Kalamazoo. The band featured Justin as front man/lead vocals and writer. His writing is an eclectic blend of rock & roll, R&B and jazz. Doc Brown released a CD in March, 2002 called 'Last Chance to Be Crazy.' The CD won a Downbeat Student Music Award for best Blues, Pop and Rock Band. Justin is currently a member of the funk driven ten piece horn band 'Hip Pocket' from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he is featured as a Keybaord player and vocalist. Justin recently won a 2004 Downbeat Student Music Award for best Blues,Pop,Rock Band as well as best Blues,Pop,Rock soloist with his Justin Avery Band featuring all original music. Justin also recently showcased the premier presentation of ' Icons', a performance of 10 original compositions. The show was a visual and audio fusion showcasing sounds and images of some of the great icons of our world. All music, words, arrangements and orchestrations were written by Justin. The concert is available on CD and DVD. It can also be see on his Website. justinaverymusic.com.