Justo Almario
Lecturer, Global Jazz Studies

Saxophone

A native of Colombia, reedman, clinician, composer and arranger, Justo Almario has fused Latin, Afro-Cuban, South American, funk and jazz genres into his own humble offering. Almario studied at the prestigious Berklee School of Music before a stint with Mongo Santamaria as the band’s musical director.

Almario has performed with Patrice Rushen’s Grammy Awards Orchestra, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Ayers, George Duke, Tito Puente, Machito, Dave Grusin, Ndugu Chancler, Alex Acuna, Abraham Laboriel, TOLU, Donald Vega, Harold Land Jr. Al Mckibbon, Master P, Bebe Winans, Queen Latifah, Charles Mingus, Chaka Khan, Linda Rondstadt, Herb Alpert, Bobby Shew, John Heard, Lorca Hart, Billy Higgins, “Jose Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side All-Stars,” and many others.

A multi-instrumentalist of the highest caliber, Almario has mastered the soprano and tenor saxophones, clarinet and flute. Justo thoroughly engages his listeners with rhythmic, call-and-response interludes. John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bach, Bartok and Debussy are among Justo’s primary influences.

Almario also has experience as an educator: he taught saxophone at Cal State Los Angeles from 2006-2008; he has taught in clinics throughout the United States, as well as in Sweden, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico; he taught at the Henry Mancini Institute, has mentored youth during workshops at the World Stage in Los Angeles, and has taught students privately for over 20 years. In 1992, while joining the ranks of Cedar Walton, Terrence Blanchard and Joe Lovano, Almario was an integral part of the Newport Jazz Festival Tour, produced by George Wein. Two years later, four of the recordings on which Justo was featured earned Grammy nominations while Andrae Crouch’s “Mercy,” and Cachao’s “Master Sessions, Vol. 1,” were Grammy winners. Justo’s latest CD, “Love Thy Neighbor,” features his quartet playing original compositions as well as rare standards. A man for all seasons, Justo was the featured soloist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at Walt Disney Hall’s season opener and also performed at the Christmas concert, “Celebrar,” at the same venue. Finally, Justo’s stellar career was recently celebrated during a segment of “World Stage Stories,” a comprehensive oral history series that chronicles the evolution of jazz.

B.A. Berklee College of Music

Herb Alpert School of Music Artists Contribute to Multiple GRAMMY-Nominated Projects
  Jazz, classical, world music, and composition faculty and staff at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music are among a talented pool of artists who contributed to projects recognized

Explore Other Degrees

Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Conducting
Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
Ethnomusicology
The study of global musical traditions through performance training, research, and field work
Global Jazz Studies
Jazz performance and musicianship courses are paired with African American Studies
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
Music Industry
Industry professionals and UCLA faculty prepare students for music-related careers
Musicology
The scholarly study of the histories, cultures, and critical interpretations of music and music-making
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music
Music Performance Jazz
A highly selective M.M. program in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz