As a child, Aaron Lebos was given a choice of two musical instruments: piano or violin. He chose the piano and spent the next six years dedicated to the instrument, winning five state-wide competitions.
But at the age of 11, he picked up the guitar.
More than a decade later he's still strumming it.
You can hear Aaron’s music in this week’s WLRN story "Piñata," a work of fiction by Jeremy Glazer. You can listen to "Rita" and "Pravda" below:
In "Piñata," the narrator gets a chance to connect with his childhood self. And in that spirit, Aaron agreed to talk to us about his childhood influences. He sat down with WLRN before a set at the Van Dyke Cafe in Miami Beach, on a plush, velvet couch in the upstairs jazz section.
On music and the family:
- My dad played a little of banjo and little bit of guitar but just hippie songs. There was always a guitar around the house. My brother is actually the one who really got me into guitar. He's a little bit older and when I was 11 or 12, he started showing me classic rock and all that stuff.
What he listened to as a kid:
- In my teens , blues and classic rock. Probably the same as most other teenage skateboarding kids. Then at 18 I got into jazz.
What he would tell his childhood self:
- I practice more now then I ever did, but I always wish I would have practiced more efficiently and focused more in my teens and early 20s. I wish I was better now but I've always practiced. It's a constant thing.
That practice has paid off. Aaron’s band, Aaron Lebos Reality, performs regularly around South Florida. He's a regular at the Van Dyke, and his band recently played a live hour on WLRN's South Florida Arts Beat.
Aaron's new album, Aaron Lebos Reality, will be available on January 23rd. The official release will be on March 7th at the Van Dyke.