I was born in the southern suburbs of Cape Town in 1959 My father was a Trad Jazz. aficionado so I was weaned on a diet of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald Louis Armstrong, Milt Jackson, Johnny Hodges, Fats Waller, Pete Fountain, Wes Montgomery and all the East Coast greats.
In the summer of 1969 I was received a guitar for Christmas. My brother, who could play a little, attempted to teach me the basics but soon gave up as the guitar was a steel string who's action was so high that it rendered it practically unplayable.
I was drivens by new sounds I was discovering; Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton, Carlo Santana , Lightnin' Hopkins, BB King , David Gilmour et al.
After three years of battling with the finger cutter I bought a second hand red Hofner electric guitar.
By this point, I had also begun teaching my cousin John Mair to accompany me on guitar, and within two years we had become 16 year old guitar legends in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, playing in makeshift rock bands at school dances and community festivals
Formal education in music was discouraged in our house. I undertook to study music in the enclaves of my bedroom and the local public library, immersing myself in an eclectic brew of Harmony, Counterpoint, Sonata form, Bebop, Cyclic Jazz, Eastern Quarter Tone, Acoustic, African and Latin rhythm patterns and anything else that could be found under the general heading of "music".
After I left school I was persuaded to study Commerce. I joined the corporate world for 18 miserable years, first as a financial information analyst and then a computer analyst programmer.
In 1990s I discovered MIDI and the ability to connect computers to synthesizers and make music. This triggered a compositional orgasm in my life: I was now able to compose for any range of instruments I chose, and in any style I could imagine!
Rene Avenant, Renesongs, Guitar Teacher
In 1992 I met Alfred Hinkel of Jazzart Dance Company, who was looking for new, exciting and different music to use in his dance productions. I was intrigued by the idea of composing to motion, and a relationship was forged between Jazzart and I, keeping me musically stimulated for over a decade.
By the beginning of the 21st century I began to miss the spontaneity of performing live music. The stage bug really bit hard one Saturday night in 2005 when my brother-in-law spontaneously asked me to accompany him on lead guitar at a pub gig in the South of England.
Over the last 10 years I have joined and formed a number of blues/rock bands, as lead guitarist and part time singer, which have played local clubs, pubs and occasional blues festivals around the Western Cape. I am currently giving guitar, bass and sound production lessons daily, studying music online, writing songs and playing pubs and clubs as a solo artist Renesongs