Growing up in Santiago de Cuba, Renesito Avich's parents became when he started whistling melodies at three months old. A child psychologist told them not to worry, he was going to grow up to be a musician.
That diagnosis played out.
Avich now lives in Florida and plays music across the world, sharing the tradition of the national instrument of Cuba, the Tres Guitar. He won a Latin Grammy Award in 2016 for his work on the Flamenco Album of the Year Áname Como Soy by Niña Pastori.
His given name is René, but his grandfather and father share that name, so he's known as "Renesito" or "little René".
He stopped by WKU Public Radio's studios this week to discuss his performance at Western Kentucky University Thursday night as part of the International Year of Cuba. There is no admission for the event, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center Recital Hall Room 189.
Brent Bjorkman, Director of WKU's Kentucky Museum and Kentucky Folklife Program, said he wanted to continue his partnership with WKU's International Year of program.
“We talked to Florida friends who had have René there with them and what a wonderful experience he is sharing that culture and those traditions. And [he] has that educational mission talking about all the different instruments that he plays that he loops and he adds to this to give people this fuller understanding of Cuban music,” said Bjorkman.
Avich's appearance is made possible through a partnership involving the Kentucky Folklife Program, South Arts, WKU's Office of International Programs, and WKU's Departments of Music, Theatre and Dance, and Folk Studies.