Avo Uvezian, famous jazz pianist turned legendary cigar maker has played his final tune and smoked his final cigar two days after his 91st birthday he has passed away and left us.
With deep sorrow and a heavy heart we say good bye to a dear friend!
Avo Uvezian starts from very humble beginnings, born in Beirut Lebanon March 22, 1926 to a family of musicians his mother was a singer and his father a composer and conductor of a symphony orchestra. His family environment allowed him to develop and musical talents. From performing in a hotel in Baghdad and became the personal pianist, Shah Reze Pahlavi.
Avo would later come to the U.S in 1947 with the Shahs arrangement. While living in New York Avo played for multiple bands and studied at the Julliard school.
Avo would then meet his wife Marie Sahakian in 1951 while performing at the Catskill mountains resort in New York.
Avo was drafted into military service during the Korean War and was sent to Fort Dix In New Jersey where he under went infantry training. He impressed his officers with his musical talent and was taking out of the infantry and placed in to brand training. When we was sent to Korea he would play at the Officers Club. He was Honorably discharged in 1952.
In 1983 his daughter Karyn was born, and went to Switzerland for the christening. Avo purchased a Cuban Cigar to celebrate the occasion. He was greatly disappointed. The price the quality he felt was so off. He believed that the price was much to high followed by a subpar quality. Avo then traveled to the Dominican Republic on the search and determined to make a cigar that would live up to his high standards. After 2 years of searching, Avo finally met the legendary Hendrik Kelner. Avo smoked a few samples and then offered Kelner 25% more than he had originally offered, to insure Avo would only have the best tobacco in his cigars.
in 1995 it is said that Davidoff offered Avo 10 million for the right to distribute his cigars. Since then he has been family to Davidoff and will be greatly missed, not only by Davidoff but every fan, cigar smoker, and retailer.
We salute Avo for his service in music and tobacco. Avo was honored last year at the Davidoff Golden Band Awards dinner and received a formal recognition from the Lebanese government. We will always remember Avo for the his amazing music, cigars, and friendly down to earth persona that we all love.
May he Rest In Peace
March 22, 1926 – March 24, 2017