Abel Beja

Mafra, Lisbon, Portugal

I was born & raised in Jamaica (Queens), New York, son of Portuguese immigrants. Fascinated by music early on, I grew up listening to much of the groundbreaking musicians of the '60s & '70s. Bands like Led Zeppelin, the Who, Black Sabbath, and AC/DC inspired me to start playing electric guitar at the age of 14.

For the next several years I honed my chops as a lead/rhythm guitarist, studying privately with renowned instructors/session musicians such as Ron Zabrocki (Berklee School of Music, Guitar World Mag) and Peter Greenfield ( Musicians Institute, Mechanics of Metal Series) while playing the NY/NJ club circuit with several local bands.

I began my classical guitar studies in 1992 under the tutelage of Stanley Solow and Bill Zito, eventually going on to receive a Bachelor's Degree in Music in 1997 from the Aaron Copland School of Music where I also began to study voice. Shortly after graduation, I began playing bass and exploring other styles of music, returning to the stage as a singer, guitarist, and/or bassist with several different projects.

In 2000, I joined Primitive Reason, a Rock / Ska / Funk / Reggae / Cross-over band from Portugal with whom I've been touring internationally for over a decade and recorded three albums and three EPs.

A subsequent move to the Old Country inspired me to explore several ethnic stringed instruments with which I've since written and recorded with including the Guitarra Portuguesa and Viola Terceirense (Portugal), Sitar (India), Bouzouki (Ireland), and Mandolin (Italy).

I've been tutoring privately in all styles of electric/acoustic guitar since 1995 and have been head professor of classical guitar at the Óbidos Academy of Music (Portugal) since 2009.

Currently, I am in the studio preparing new releases for Primitive Reason, as well as, several new projects to be announced shortly...

  • Work
    • Professional Musician
  • Education
    • Aaron Copland School of Music @ Queens College, New York