Justo Almario is a master saxophonist, a flutist, clarinetist, composer, arranger, and clinician. His style fuses jazz, South American, and other world rhythms, and has been heard on Grammy Award-winning works by Linda Ronstadt, Placido Domingo, Luis Miguel, Andrae Crouch, and Israel Lopez Cachao, as well as on the Oscar‐winning soundtracks from Happy Feet and Sideways.
Almario’s playing has been featured on diverse projects, including Queen Latifah’s Living Out Loud, Jennifer Lopez’s HBO special Let’s Get Loud, Andy Garcia’s The Lost City, and John Turturro’s Romance and Cigarettes. Almario has also played on various platinum and gold records and soundtracks, and was part of the Newport Jazz Festival tour in 2002.
Almario was the featured soloist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale for the season opener at the Walt Disney Hall, where he later performed at the Christmas concert, Celebrar. He has performed with Patrice Rushen’s Grammy Award orchestra, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Ayers, Diane Reeves, George Duke, Sergio Mendes, Billy Higgins, Tito Puente, Machito, Dave Grusin, Ndugu Chancler, Kenny Burrell, Master P, Bebe Winans, Charles Mingus, Chaka Kahn, Herb Alpert, Bobby Shew, and many others. His career was recently celebrated by World Stage Stories, an oral history series chronicling the evolution of jazz.
A native of Colombia, Almario studied at the Berklee College of Music before becoming musical director for Mongo Santamaria. He taught at the Henry Mancini Institute and has mentored inner-city youth during workshops at the World Stage. He currently teaches saxophone at the UCLA School of Music and is working on a new album.