Artist Profile: Carlos Averhoff Jr.

Carlos Averhoff Jr. is a Cuban tenor saxophonist, contemporary Afro-Cuban Jazz composer and educator, and a Latin Grammy nominated artist with the album Buena Vista Presents Omara Portuondo. All About Jazz names Carlos “a dynamic fresh new voice on the saxophone” and Latin Jazz Network portrays his playing as “quite extraordinarily expressive and beautiful,” further adding, “Carlos Averhoff Jr. is a musician who is renowned as a virtuoso soloist.”

His debut album iRESI (Inner Circle Music label) brings Cuban-influenced and avant-garde jazz and was released in April 2015 at Boston’s most acclaimed jazz venue, Scullers Jazz Club. The album has been applauded by acclaimed artists such as Dave Liebman, Jerry Bergonzi, Terri Lyne Carrington, Chucho Valdés among others. Also by international critics and major jazz blogs. 

All About Jazz awarded iRESI Four (4) Stars. Further acclamations include descriptions such as “remarkable recording;” “striking music;” “bewitching;” and as portrayed by Latin Jazz Network, “one of the most visceral and heartfelt that Carlos may have made” […] “this recording is still masterful and driven by such genius that it can only have come from worshiping at the altar of originality, creativity and the impulse to adorn even the most complex melodies.”

His second album, iQba (Inner Circle Music Label) was recorded in Havana, Cuba. The album was very well received in the Jazz and Latin Jazz comunity worldwide. The album iQba proposes a new sound described as ‘Contemporary AfroCuban Jazz’ were Averhoff Jr. melts the sound of a classic Jazz quintet (Sax, Trumpet, Piano, Bass and Drums) with music elements of Cuban dance genre, Timba, as well as Afro Cuban Jazz and elements of today’s contemporary Jazz.

When his father, legendary Cuban saxophonist Carlos Averhoff, passed away, the younger Averhoff had just begun an album that would represent their first collaborative work. Though his father left too soon to complete it, Averhoff Jr.’s album Together serves as a perfect tribute to his father’s career and their mutual respect for each other. Together (Sunnyside Records Label) was released on May 20, 2022, and features special guests Chucho Valdés, Néstor Torres, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández and Federico Brito.

As a composer, Averhoff creates unique contexts that show connections to Cuban culture and contemporary jazz without being overly obvious. His performance resonates with equal parts fire and smart intellect, ready to explore new musical territories.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Carlos first encounter with music was through his mother’s womb by the hands of his father, Carlos Averhoff Sr., legendary saxophonist and member of Chucho Valdés’ Irakere. Classically trained in Cuba’s top music schools – Manuel Saumel Conservatory of Music, Amadeo Roldan School of Music and Havana’s Superior Institute of Art – Carlos continued his education in the United States earning Suma cum Laude Honors at Berklee College of Music and a Master’s Degree with Honors from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music.

During his continuous academic pursuits, Carlos received numerous scholarly awards from the aforementioned institutions, among them the Charlie Parker Scholarship Award, the Woodwind Faculty Achievement Award, the North American Scholarship, and NEC’s meritorious awards. He took instruction from Jazz luminaries Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Ed Tomassi, Frank Tiberi, Greg Osby, Bill Pierce, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joe Lovano, Jason Moran, Cecil McBee, Ran Blake, John McNeil and Donny McCaslin. Soon upon the completion of his studies, Carlos took a faculty position at Berklee’s City Music Program and the Concord Conservatory of Music, 

Carlos Averhoff Jr.
Carlos Averhoff Jr.

Carlos has also collaborated in many aspects with respected drummers: Louis Hayes, Jimmy Cobb, Bob Moses; Cuban drummers Horacio “El Negro” Hernández and Calixto Oviedo, pianists Jason Moran, Chucho Valdés, Roberto Fonseca and Alexis Boch; saxophonists Dave Liebman, Greg Osby, Bill Pierce, Paquito D’Rivera; Cuban singers Isaac Delgado and Augusto Enriquez. In addition to Latin Grammy nominated recordings with Omara Portuondo and Buena Vista Social Club, Manuel Guajiro Mirabal, Roberto Fonseca and Temperamento, Pablo Milanés, Cuban Rumba group Los Papines, among others.

Carlos Averhoff, Jr. currently resides in Dallas, Texas.

Danilo Navas
Danilo Navas
Founder, Editor, Webmaster: Latin Jazz Network, World Music Report, Toronto Music Report. A passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts based in Toronto, Canada.

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