JAY LOU AVA
Jay Lou Ava is an exceptionally gifted musician and hitmaker. Father of the Progressive Afro Jazz ( PAJ ), Jay Lou's style is a soft fusion between smooth jazz and African melodies. The meeting of different cultures.
Not surprising for this self-taught musician who grew up in a culturally mixed environment: his father Jean Louis Ava Ava, a great pianist and renowned politician was raised in Cameroon by an American Missionary called Eva Miller in the 1920s.
Jay Lou's childhood is a mix of Cameroonian plantains, French cheese and American pop corn. He grows up listening equally to the African Manu Dibango, the French Charles Aznavour , the American gospel diva Mahalia Jackson and the jazz icon Duke Ellington. Jay Lou is a gifted child with a natural ability to do things. The first time he lays hands on a balafon, he plays it naturally! At the age of six, Jay Lou starts playing the organ just after watching his father play once. At 14, precocious Jay Lou is on stage as the organist of his school band, performing before thousands of jubilant people who acclaim this young virtuoso.
When his elder brother Williams, a brilliant jazz guitarist introduces him to Wes Montgomery, Jay Lou has a revelation: Guitarist! thats definitely what he wants to be. He is 16 years old. A year later, young guitarist Jay Lou starts the first youth jazz band in the country called the The Blues Brothers. The band is composed with his childhood friends ( including the now bass superstar Noel Ekwabi ) who are all gifted teenagers with a great musical talent. The band becomes very successful, performing alongside many prominent Cameroonian music figures.
Jay Lou's father, author and composer of more than 300 hundred hymns, including the 1961 Cameroon Reunification Hymn, does not encourage his children to engage in a music career, even though many of them are excellent musicians. As one of the pioneer politician of the young independent Cameroon in the 1960s, he values education higher education, which is considered by his generation as the only efficient answer to development. So like all his brothers and sisters, Jay Lou MUST pursue his studies.
Thats not a difficult task for this A-student who ALWAYS gets all the class prices. His music activities, which he has no intention to stop, would just remain secret.
After high school in Cameroon and Senegal, he completes his studies in France and becomes a computer science engineer, to the great satisfaction of his proud parents. He has fulfilled his duty! But rather than taking on a great engineer career, Jay Lou prefers music. Thats his passion, and his life calling.
For many years and in spite of himself, he works in the field of computer science to avoid disappointing his aging and ill father; playing and composing music as a hobby almost secretly!
One month after his father passed away, Jay Lou begins producing an album for a young and unknown Cameroonian artist called Donny Elwood. That production is a hit album which instantly propels Donny Elwood to international acclaim and wins many awards, including Album of the Year . After decades of repressed passion, Jay Lous musicianship, can now be fully and freely expressed.