VIEW ONLINE: This program will be closed to the public, but will be live streamed on rockhall.com/education. There is no cost to connect. Students will have the opportunity to email questions to Rock Hall educators during the live stream. This live stream is appropriate for middle and high school classrooms.
Avant, a Cleveland School of the Arts graduate, will discuss his musical career, his influences, and his experiences – as well as perform two songs – in front of a live audience of high school students from the Cleveland School of Arts. Avant will be interviewed in the Rock Hall’s Foster Theater by Rock Hall educator John Goehrke.
Since its inception in 2000, the Rock Hall’s Rockin’ the Schools program has taught over 200,000 K-12 students how rock and roll music has played a role in some of the most important social, cultural and political issues in modern history.
Like many R&B singers, Avant got his start singing in the church choir, but soon became inspired by R&B legends such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Luther Vandross and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. After attending Cleveland School of the Arts, he became the first act signed to NBA legend Magic Johnson’s MCA-distributed label, Magic Johnson Music (MJM). Avant’s 2000 MJM debut album, My Thoughts, spun off the Billboard No. 1 R&B hit “Separated.” That was followed by the top five hit “My First Love,” a cover of the 1983 René & Angela classic featuring Wyatt. Avant returned the favor on Wyatt’s 2001 album debut, Soul Sista, pairing with her on the No. 4 hit “Nothing in This World.”
After scoring platinum with My Thoughts, Avant released two more platinum-certified albums, Ecstasy (2002) and Private Room (2003). He also added several more top 10 singles to his arsenal, including “Makin’ Good Love” and “Read Your Mind.” A versatile singer, Avant has recorded with a diverse range of artists, including Lil Wayne and contemporary jazz multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson.
Avant’s latest album, Face the Music, was released in 2013 to much acclaim, including the top 10 R&B hit “You & I” featuring long-time duet partner Keke Wyatt.