AVO announces Improvisation LE 21. That is the annual limited edition for the Dominican brand. The improvisation name draws inspiration from Avo Uvezian’s history as a jazz musician. As a jazz musician, improvising was a daily requirement for the late musician and cigar maker.
The cigar will reach American retailers on March 22nd. That would have been his 95th birthday. The cigar is a 7 ½ x50 Double Corona. The wrapper and binder come from Ecuador. The filler consists of four different Dominican tobaccos. The cigars are coming from the Davidoff Cigars factory as usual. Only 2500 boxes of 20 cigars are available for American retailers. Another 2050 boxes will become available to international Davidoff appointed merchants later this year.
“The AVO Improvisation 2021 packaging is designed to honor the role copper has played in both art and music for centuries,” says Lana Fraser, director of marketing and retail at Davidoff of Geneva USA, in a press release. “The cigar’s shape draws inspiration from the timeless and celebratory history of the AVO line and the iconic AVO Improvisation Series. While we honor both the 20th Anniversary of these limited editions and what would have been the 95th anniversary of the composer himself, the Double Corona reflects the length and impact of these milestones.”
Avo Uvezian was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1926. He learned how to play the piano at a young age. And he joined a jazz trio called ‘The Lebanon Boys’. With that trio, he performed all over the Middle East. They played as a hotel band in Baghdad for a year before moving to Iran. That’s where Avo befriended the Shah and became his pianist. In 1947, Avo moved to New York.
In New York, Avo studied classical piano and songwriting, while performing as a jazz musician. He was drafted for the Korean War, but because of his musical skills, he never went into battle. During his time in Korea, he performed at an officers club. In 1952, he was discharged and started working as a musician as well as working as a jeweler for his father in law. He met his wife a year earlier while performing in a resort in New York.
It wasn’t until 1983 before Avo entered the cigar industry. While in Switzerland, Avo smoked a Cuban cigar and wasn’t happy with it. When a friend told Avo he should make his own cigars, Avo traveled to the Dominican Republic. It took two years before Avo finally met Henke Kelner. And with Kelner, he found the blender and manufacturer who could deliver the quality Avo was looking for.
Cigar production and sales grew. From 120.000 in the first year to 750.000 after three years. And ten years after the release of the first Avo cigars, Davidoff paid 10 million dollars for the exclusive distribution rights. One year later, the sales tipped the 2 million cigars scale. Up until the last day, Avo kept promoting his cigars and performing as a musician. He passed away on March 24, 2017, two days after his 91st birthday.
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