- United States
Arthur Avila Jr., born in El Paso, Texas, drawn to percussion at the early age of two, graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2001. Mr. Avila is also a certified, all-level Music Educator for the state of Texas. He is currently the Assistant Band Director/Jazz 1 Band Director at Eastwood High School in El Paso, Texas, and the Percussion Director at Eastwood High School, Eastwood Middle School and Eastwood Knolls Middle School in El Paso. Making Eastwood his home for the last 13 years, Mr. Avila has taken the music program to new heights in many areas of percussion including marching percussion, concert percussion, drum-set percussion, and Latin & hand drum percussion. Under his tutelage, Eastwood has won numerous top awards at competitions such as the Thunder Drums Challenge, The Duke City Drum-Off, the UTEP Day of Percussion, Franklin Percussion Ensemble Festival, The Star City Percussion Ensemble Festival, Conquer the Rhythm Festival, and UIL State Solo and Ensemble Competitions. Caption awards include: Best Front Line, Best Bass Line, and Best Cymbal Line. Mr. Avila has been awarded the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction award from The National Society of High School Scholars in 2006. Art is also a current member of the Percussive Arts Society and the Texas Music Educators Association.
Art Avila is the former Co-Caption/Snare/Cymbal Tech for the indoor WGI Independent Open ensemble, Innovative Marching Percussion, which was based out of the El Paso/New Mexico region. Mr. Avila is the founder and host of the EHS/YISD Sun City Throwdown Drumline Competition event, held in El Paso, Texas. Mr. Avila has brought in many clinicians/adjudicators for this event, which has greatly impacted the El Paso/Southwest region. Names such as: Matt Savage, Amy Savage, Doug Bush, Patricia Islas, Tyler Dempsey, T.R. Fitz Gibbons, Jeff Ausdemore, Lalo Davila, Bill Bachman, Murray Gusseck, J.D.Guzman, Frank Gonzalez, Jeff Hodge, Jesse Parker, Alan Keown, Matt Keown, Edward Freytag, Bridgit Elliot, John Wooton, Andrew Blair, Eric Rangel, James Smith, Eric Ridenour, Ben Maughmer, Manny Castaneda, Art Jimenez, Scott Ney, and Dan Neimeyer.
Mr. Avila is also an active, international percussionist in the El Paso Southwest/Mexico region and is a current member of the El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra. In the summer of 2016, Mr. Avila toured with the EPYSO to New York and Washington D.C, boasting performances at Carnegie Hall, Coney Island, and also at our nations Capitol for Congress. He has performed with such prestigious groups as the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Pops Orchestra, Zarzuela, Pro-Musica, Symphonica de Juarez, El Paso Opera, Star City Percussion Ensemble, The Eklectic Jazz Band, The Abundant Living Faith Center Orchestra, The Edge of Texas Community Wind Symphony, the El Paso Wind Symphony, and the Music Theater of El Paso. He has shared the stage with Sam Pilafian, Lamar Burkhalter, and many others under the direction of Maestro Gurer Aykal and Dr. Ron Hufstader. Mr. Avila has also played congas and drum-set percussion for a salsa group called Fuego Latino where he has shared the stage with Tito Puente, Jr. He has also shared the stage with Jeff Berlin, Rosanna Eckerd, Kimberly Locke, Dr. Willie Hill, Tia Fuller, Wycliff Gordon, J.D.Guzman, Lalo Davila, Greg Adams, Sean Jones, Fred Wesley, N'Dugu Chancelor, Brad Leali, Marty Olivas, Billy Townes, The Canadian Brass, Taylor Hicks, Karmin, and Eric Johnson. Art has had performances in El Paso, Texas, Cancun, Mexico, Zacatecas, Mexico, Chihuahua, Mexico, Juarez, Mexico, San Diego, CA, Nashville, TN, New York, NY, Washington, D.C., Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Las Vegas, NM, Alburqurque, NM, Ruidoso, NM, and Las Cruces, NM. Art Avila has studied concert percussion with professor Larry White at the University of Texas of El Paso. Drum Set percussion with Ricky Malachi, Eric Boseman, Demetrius Williams, Javier Chavez, and “Rusty” Jones. Marching percussion with Calvin Edwards, Johnny Tharp, and Todd Liles. Steel Drum Percussion from Darren Dyke, and Afro-Cuban Percussion from Frank “Chama” De La Rosa, Raciel Ivan Tortolo, “Carmello”, Edwin Torres and Jesse Reza.
Art has been a part of many creative recording projects as a drum-set/Latin hand percussion/steel drum and concert percussionist with: Pandemonium Steel Drum Ensemble , “Music Under the Stars” (Set Productions, 1998), Sound Finesse, “Children Under the Gun” (Frontline Productions, 2001), Pandemonium Steel Drum Ensemble, El Paso Wind Symphony, “Classics with a Twist” (Summit Records, 2002), Los Arrieros, “Ultimante”, 2005, and Quest Poetics, “A Sound Campaign” - 2008. Aztec Zodiac, 2009, Billy Townes (Shade Records, 2009&2012) Crosstown Trio, "Finally", 2010. Art is currently a studio percussionist with Shade Records in El Paso, TX.
Art Avila is currently endorsed by ProMark sticks, Sound Percussion, and Evans Drumheads.
Art currently resides in El Paso, TX with his wife Michelle, and is a proud father of 4 sons and 1 daughter.
https://youtu.be/34Lma2lA8Ac (a brief cameo in a Visit El Paso video, playing currently at the El Paso International Airport)