Justo Almario



Colombian born woodwind player, Justo Almario, is a musical bridge-builder. As a musician, composer and arranger, Justo has combined elements of his native South American rhythms with American Jazz to create an artistry distinctively his own. His audience in the U.S. and abroad attests to the appeal of his native and spiritually creative style. Justo draws upon the same love of music and spiritual values that have always filled his playing and composing. Luis Tamargo in Latin Beat Magazine lists Justo as “one of the top 10 Latin jazz saxophonists of our time.” Justo is truly an international, culture-spanning artist whose gift is derived from inspiration and passion.

At age 16, Justo participated in a South American/U.S. cultural exchange program that offered him the opportunity to tour the U.S. with a Colombian folklorico group. This led to his migration to Boston in 1969 to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. While at Berkleee, a call from Latin jazz great Mongo Santamaria, in need of a saxophone player for a club date at Boston 's legendary Jazz Workshop, changed Justo's musical future. Mongo was so impressed with the young Colombian's playing that he invited him to join his band as music director.

Justo went on to travel the globe with Mongo's group. While living in New York , he also worked with jazz giant Charles Mingus. After moving to Los Angeles , Justo joined the now legendary jazz-rock group Koinonia. He also began to work with other great artists, recording and performing with the like of Freddie Hubbard, Chaka Khan, Linda Rondstadt, Roy Ayers, George Duke, Dave Grusin, Tito Puente, Machito, Master P, Queen Latifah, and Bebe Winans.  He has also contributed to numerous films and television soundtracks including, Dirty Dancing, Trading Places, Mambo Kings, The Birdcage, Speechless, and Dance with Me .

Several recordings Justo has played on have been nominated for Grammy's. Andrae Crouch's, "Mercy", and Cachao's, "Master Sessions Vol. 1" were both Grammy winners. Justo also performed on Herb Alperts, "Passion Dance",  Bobby Shew's, "Salsa Caliente," Helen Baylor's, "The Live Experience", and  Placido Domingo's, "A Mi Alma Latina".

In 1996 Justo was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Berklee College of Music. In celebration of the schools 50th anniversary he was also listed among the 50 top alumni in the history of Berklee College of Music! In 1998, Justo, in partnership with Berklee College of Music, pioneered a Latin Jazz curriculum offered at the Berklee in Los Angeles Summer Program. He is also a teaching staff member of the Henry Mancini Institute.

Justo's solo albums include Interlude, "Forever Friends", "Plumbline", "Family Time", "Heritage", "Count Me In" and a duet project self-titled, "Justo Amario & Abraham Laboriel". He is also very much a part of the recordings of the Latin Jazz Band, "TOLU". The first Tolu CD, Rumbero's Poetry" , was co-produced with Alex Acuna and Soul Song with Brazilian pianist Marchos Ariel. Also, the second album by the band,entitled, "Bongo The VanGogh" was released and features compositions and arrangements by Justo. (Long time friend Alex Acuna also collaborated with Justo on this recording!)

Here is Justo Almario's latest solo recording project, "Love Thy Neighbor". Joining him on this excellent CD is: Donald Vega - Piano, Lorca Hart - Drums, Francisco Torres - Trombone.

Justo shares, "I give thanks with a grateful heart to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for the gift of family, friends, and music in my life and also for providing all that was needed to record this CD"!




Salt Song     

Salvation Army  


We Are One In The Spirit  


               To purchase this CD visit here!  To purchase the Tolu CD visit here!

Visit Justo Almario's Mypace Web Site here!


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