Avo Cigars

Avo Uvezian

In 1926, Avedis “Avo” Uvezian was born in Beirut, French Lebanon. His Armenian parents were both musicians. He mother was a singer and his father composed and conducted for a symphonic orchestra.

Avo played jazz with a trio called the Lebanon Boys. They travelled the Middle East and performed in various hotels. While playing in Iran, he befriended the Shah Reza Pahlavi.

With the Shah’s support, Avo travelled to the USA in 1947 where he played with other jazz bands while studying classical piano. He was even drafted during the Korean War.

However, officers were impressed by his musical talents and he would perform at their club for $20 a night.

After the war, Avo performed throughout the USA. He met his first wife at a New Yok resort in 1951 and they had three children. After divorcing, Avo moved to Puerto Rico.

Avo Uvezian Holding Syncro Cigars

In the 1960s, Avo composed a song while in New York that he called “Broken Guitar” with a friend who wrote the lyrics. They presented it to Frank Sinatra who liked the songs but wished the lyrics to be changed.

It was recorded in 1966 as “Strangers In The Night”. However, Avo never received credit for his role in its creation.

Avo Nicaragua Ash Burn

In 1983, Avo travelled to Switzerland to christen his daughter with his second wife. After a celebratory meal, he had a Cuban cigar but was disappointed by the price.

After the suggestion that he should launch his own brand, he travelled the Dominican Republic where he met Hendrik Kelner. Avo offered Hendrik  25% more than the original price to ensure that his cigars would receive the best tobacco.

Within 12 months of its launch, Avo had already sold 120,000 cigars. Two years later, the amount had increased to 750,000. Hendrik and Avo became close friends and Hendrik’s son, Klaas, has often referred to Avo as his second father.

In the early 1990s, Davidoff Cigars had moved its production from Cuba to Hendrik Kelner’s factory. In 1995, Avo sold his brand’s distribution rights to Davidoff for approximately $10,000,000.

Avo Syncro Ritmo 30th Anniversary Cigar With Box

A year later, over 2,000,000 Avo cigars had been sold. In 2014, Avo Cigars underwent rebranding, which changed the ranges of his cigars. The bands and boxes had a facelift to create a new, artisanal image.

Until he passed away in 2017, Avo Uvezian continued to play an active role in his cigars and regularly attended its events. Today, Avo Cigars are produced in O.K. Cigars, the galera (factory floor) just next to Davidoff.

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