Avery Waite, cello
A graduate of The Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory, American cellist Avery Waite is a passionate educator, accomplished cellist and international music education advocate. Avery has appeared in venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Alice Tully Hall, and has performed alongside many renowned artists including Itzhak Perlman. Recent appearances include a guest performance for President Barack Obama in Nairobi, and a solo performance of the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Avery has also studied and performed with members of the Takacs, Juilliard, Emerson and Guarneri String Quartets.
A native of Oregon, Avery has built a meaningful musical presence in Portland, and frequently appears with Portland-based ensembles ranging from The Oregon Symphony, to new music groups Third Angle and Fear No Music. He is also deeply engaged with the greater community and has used music as a tool to inspire dialogue and healing in communities struggling with homelessness and lack of access.
An active composer and arranger, Avery has done extensive arranging of traditional Indo-Afghan, Central Asian and Kurdish folk music. Avery performs this music with his ensemble Drifting East and the group recently released its debut album entitled Songs and Melodies of Afghanistan. The group was recently featured during the opening ceremony of the 2019 Pacific Northwest Spirituality Conference. As a globally-connected performer and educator, Avery has collaborated with music programs in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kenya, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Belize, Antigua, Jamaica and El Salvador. In his current role as Executive Director of MusAid, a global music education non-profit, he works to support socially-driven music education projects in countries experiencing a lack of access to Western classical music resources by leading teacher-training and orchestral workshops. Using music as a tool for social change, MusAid partners with music organizations that empower and inspire underserved and marginalized youth. Avery is also on faculty with American Voices, a US state department organization at the forefront of cross-cultural engagement and Fascinated by the possibilities of cross-cultural musical dialogues, he was a recipient of a 2016-2017 Fulbright Grant to assist and develop music programs and youth orchestras all over India.