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BIOGRAPHY

Avon Dews is a vocalist and musician who's one of Washington, D.C.’s premier Jazz Harmonicists.  A native of the District, he began his musical career at six years old.  By age 12, this self-taught musician began to explore his abilities by playing his first real instrument, the bass guitar.  As he grew into his teen years, Avon traveled the region with two of his older brothers and a cousin in their family band known as “New Elements”... 

Background photo on this page courtesy of
Wayne K. Thomas​

After dabbling in a variety of creative ventures, Avon received a gift from a friend that would change his life. This friend brought him a kit called “Learn How to Play the Harmonica”, which included an instruction book, cassette tape and a harmonica.  With little experience, Avon embarked on the new challenge of playing the harmonica and, thanks to his innate senses and winning spirit, he succeeded!  He discovered that, with consistent practice, he was able to create beautiful music from this small, rectangular wind instrument.

Avon’s newfound love of playing the harmonica soon became his passion, and a Jazz Harmonicist was born.  Inspired by some of the greats, such as Lee Oskar (WAR/Lowrider Band), Toots Thielemans, and Stevie Wonder, Avon's music is a fusion of jazz, rhythm and blues, funk, and rock.  In other words, he doesn't limit himself; and he enjoys playing songs that were not originally done on the harmonica.  He's even been said to play the harmonica like it's the saxophone smooth in tone and bad to the bone!

Avon has shared his talent on a number of stages in his hometown and beyond.  For instance, he’s performed at Maryland Special Olympics’ benefits; the American Market at National Harbor in Maryland; the “Feel the Heritage” Festival in Arlington, Virginia; the “Blue Monday” series at Westminster Presbyterian Church in S.W. DC, and the DC Blues Society's 28th annual Blues Festival at the Carter Barron Amphitheater.  Avon also performed at the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.  In early 2013, he got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was invited by one of WAR's founding members, Lonnie Jordan, to join the band on stage at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, aka “America’s Legendary Music Hall."  Speaking of invitations, Avon was also invited to join highly-regarded French-American harmonicist Frederic Yonnet on stage during his performance at Blues Alley; Avon jammed with Yonnet's band to Stevie Wonder's tune, "Boogie on Reggae Woman", which was on Yonnet's 2005 album. "Front and Center."  In 2015, Avon performed at DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival and the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show in Anaheim, California, which is described as "the industry’s largest stage, uniting the global music, sound and entertainment technology communities.”

In 2016, Avon expanded his musical career by releasing his first album entitled, "Introducing Avon Dews, Volume 1," where he puts his smooth touch on classics by Miles Davis, John Lennon, and Michael Jackson, just to name a few.  This album opened the door to further performances at prestigious venues and events such as the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center; Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater; the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club; the 4th Annual Jazz Legacy Foundation Gala Jam Session in Hampton, VA, DC’s City Winery and Carlyle Room.  In 2017, Avon was invited by Howard University’s Music Department to be a guest harmonicist at their Chrome Noir Harmonica Summit. 

Avon has also been a guest on DC-area radio stations including WOL-AM (Radio One); WOWD 94.3 FM/Takoma Radio; and WPFW 89.3 FM, the latter being for their famed “Live at 5” segment, which spotlighted local talent.

Avon’s live performances have been called "must-see" events. Many who have experienced his shows come to appreciate the beautiful sounds that this self-taught harmonica player can bring to life from his small yet powerful instrument.  We’re sure that you will be amazed and entertained by the artistry of Avon Dews as he showcases his style that is classic and cool with a touch of funk that keeps his fans wanting more!

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