As a musician, Dr. Teodross Avery stands as one who defines live music—best experienced front row, and full throttle. His commanding presence, on stage and off, reflects his musical ingenuity and skill. With an outstanding pedigree, both professionally and academically, Teodross is a saxophonist to watch, as evidenced by many of today’s biggest names in music relying on his wide musical reach.
While growing up in Oakland and Vacaville, California, Teodross’ parents exposed him to a wide range of music including traditional Eastern and Western African music, Soul, Rock, and Jazz. At ten, his father started him with classical guitar lessons. Jolted by the sound of John Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps,’ Teodross switched to the saxophone at thirteen. As a testament to his young promise, the great Wynton Marsalis purchased a saxophone for him. At 17, Teodross eventually won a full music scholarship to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
While at Berklee, renowned A&R exec, Carl Griffin of GRP/Impulse Records, heard of Teodross’ cutting edge sound and eventually signed him at 19, stating, “I was so thoroughly impressed with his lyricism and writing talent”. In 1994, Teodross launched his first album In Other Words, which was welcomed by critical acclaim, including a five star review in USA Today. Still an undergraduate, Teodross was now feverishly in demand by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Betty Carter and Ramsey Lewis. He balanced all of these demands and completed college while on the road in 1995.