Justo Almario

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Justo Pastor Almario Gómez (born 18 February 1949) is a Colombian-born, Los Angeles-based flutist, saxophonist and Latin jazz group leader.[1][2][3] He was among several Colombian musicians recruited by Mongo Santamaria for his band in the 1970s, notably on the album, Afro–Indio (1975).[4][5]


Born in Sincelejo and raised in Medellin, Almario comes from a family musical tradition, dedicated since childhood to playing woodwind instruments. At 15, he founded the group The Bachelors and was a member of 16 Dilido Combo.

He studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, before a stint with Mongo Santamaria . He received a call from Santamaria, who sought an alto saxophone for the Jazz Workshop Boston "presentaciónen 71".

He performs concerts and records with his own group. He works with drummer Richie Garcia, bassist Guillermo Guzman, George Krischke guitarist and keyboardist Billy Cantos.

After working with Mongo Santamaria, Almario accompanied Jon Lucien, Frank Foster, Freddie Hubbard and Willie Bobo. He also played in the group Koinonia with guests including Machito, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader and Poncho Sánchez.


  1. ^ Justo Almario, el colombiano en las grandes ligas del jazz latino, "Este sincelejano ha participado en las bandas sonoras de más de una docena de películas de Hollywood."
  2. ^ Loza, Steven Joseph (1 January 1993). Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles. University of Illinois Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-252-06288-9. "Justo Almario: saxophonist, originally from Colombia, who has performed with Freddy Hubbard, Poncho Sanchez, Bobby Rodriguez, Alex Acuna, and many other international artists, in addition to being a very active studio musician and leading his own fusion group".
  3. ^ Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (18 November 1999). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-972907-4. "ALMARIO, JUSTO PASTOR GOMEZ, saxes, fl, cl; b. Sincelejo, Colombia, 2/18/49. Professional debut at 13 w. Alex Acosta Orch. in Colombia; at 17, tour. US w. “Cumbia Colombia” Band on cultural exchange tour. Studied at Berklee Sch. on full..."
  4. ^ Fernandez, Raul A. (2006). From Afro-Cuban Rhythms to Latin Jazz. University of California Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-520-93944-8. "During this period, there was a notable presence of Colombian talent in Mongo's ensemble. Besides pianist Eddie Martínez, Mongo recruited Justo Almario to play flute ..."
  5. ^ Otfinoski, Steven (2007). Latinos in the Arts. Facts on File. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-8160-6394-9. "Santamaria, Mongo (Ramón 'Mongo' Santamaria) (1922–2003) percussion player, bandleader, composer. A master of the Cuban drums called...Afro–Indio (1975), a potent collaboration with Colombian flautist and sax player Justo Almario."