Juan Avila was born in a Texas bordertown called Raymondville. His parents were Mexican migrant workers who crossed the Rio Grande River one night to make a better life for themselves and their family. They moved to Corpus Christi, Texas when Juan was seven years old. At the age of thirteen, Juan started writing songs and playing guitar. His first performance was an original song he and a fellow student sang in the Sacred Heart School cafeteria. When he was fourteen he left home to study in St. Louis, Missouri where he continued his song writing and was soon singing at all major school festivals and assemblies. After half a year of college, Juan left everything behind to hitchhike throughout the country for two and a half years with little more than his guitar and a few clothes wrapped in a blanket. His first official singing job was in the French Quarter in New Orleans. At the age of twenty four, he signed an exclusive songwriters contract with Criterion Music in Hollywood. They also produced a four song demo of his original music. In 1977, Juan moved to Philadelphia and co-founded the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen at 1815 Fairmount Avenue. He has developed a loyal following playing to enthusiastic audiences at concerts, colleges and clubs as both a main stage and opening act. He has been a frequent guest on live radio broadcasts and local TV and cable shows. He has also appeared at several leading showcase clubs in the New York and Washington DC areas. In 1991 Jabobo, a film about a modern day shaman, was released for the Philadelphia Film Festival, with Juan in the leading role. Aside from serving as Music Director, Juan was also responsible for composing most of the film's music. In 1986, Juan released his first album featuring his band, AVILA. In 1991 he released a collection of some of his earlier folk songs, entitled 'RIVERS HAVE NO BOUNDARIES', featuring violinist Robert Spates. Juan Avila COLLECTION VOLUME ONE was released in 1995., In 1996 Juan released his first Compact Disk entitled SLEEPING GIANT. In 2000 Juan hosted the JUAN AVILA INTERNATIONAL SHOW CASE at the New Age Cabaret in St. Mark's Place and has hosted an open jam session with his band CONJUNTO JUAN AVILA every Wednesday at the Mid Atlantic Cafe, in Brooklyn, New York, since February of 2001. As a composer, musician, and storyteller, Juan Avila is known and recognized for his ability to transcend cultural barriers with his message of peace and good will.
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