World Class Cigar Maestro
Avo Uvezian is a cosmopolitan who began his career as a musician and went on to become a composer, cigar aficionado and even a creator of fine cigars.
Avo, who lent his name to AVO Cigars, has nurtured all these talents in his quest for perfection. In both music and the creation of cigars, passion is the driving force that spurs him to find perfect harmony.
Avo Uvezian was born in 1926, into a musical family of Armenian extraction living in Beirut.
His father was a composer and conductor of a symphony orchestra, his mother a gifted singer. The dream of this talented young pianist was a great career as a musician.
His ability and enormous commitment – still evident to this day – brought him success at an early age.
As a teenager, he travelled the Near and Middle East with his jazz trio “Lebanon Boys”. The contacts made there led the young jazz pianist to the USA in 1947 where he studied classical piano and music composition at the renowned “Julliard School of Music” in New York.
During his studies Avo played with great success in various bands. The Korean War interrupted his career, as he served with the US Army as a musician until 1953.
After that, Avo played with the great jazz musicians of the 50s and 60s. His dream had come true – he had established his career as a musician.
Avo, a polyglot, also established himself as a businessman. Travelling to Puerto Rico in the nineteen eighties, he opened a restaurant and a piano bar.
It was in Puerto Rico that Avo discovered his love of cigars which was to become his second great passion.
As a perfectionist par excellence, he very soon had his own AVO cigars rolled and gave them away to his guests, with whom they were in great demand. It was however his five-year-old daughter who was to prove the inspiration for his business acumen. When one of Avo’s listeners at the pool bar asked him for a cigar, she said: “Daddy, if he wants another one, let him pay for it.” Perhaps that was the decisive signal to open up his second passion to a wider audience. The path from connoisseur to cigar composer was just a matter of time.
In 1982, while seeking a suitable manufacturer, Avo made the acquaintance of master cigar maker Hendrik Kelner in the Dominican Republic and a harmonious relationship developed between them. The first AVO cigars went on sale in New York in 1988. Two passionate aficionados had come together and the outcome was predestined: “Cigars in Perfect Harmony”.
Avo was soon receiving as many compliments for them as for his melodies. Hendrik Kelner and Avo Uvezian started off with 100,000 cigars in the first year. Within ten years, sales rose to over three million cigars per year.
“Success in perfect harmony” – with both his first career in music and with his cigars, Avo Uvezian has devoted himself to perfect harmony and unrivalled quality.