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Abel Beja

Teacher, Musician, and Artist in Ericeira, Portugal

Abel Beja

Teacher, Musician, and Artist in Ericeira, 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 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.

Since 1995, I've been tutoring privately in all styles of electric and acoustic guitar and in May of 2000, I joined Primitive Reason, a Rock /Ska /Funk /Reggae /Cross-over band from Portugal with whom I've toured internationally 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).

Since 2009, I've been head professor of classical guitar at the Óbidos Academy of Music (Portugal) and began coaching singer/songwriters to help develop their craft both instrumentally and vocally.

Having recently completed a Masters’ Degree in Music Education (Guitar Concentration), I’m looking forward to heading back into the studio to prepare new releases for Primitive Reason, as well as, several new projects to be announced shortly...

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