It seems like Avery Rose Puryear was born to make music. She comes from a musical family and developed her love for the art from her father, who is a bass guitarist.

At just three years old, Avery began playing her grandfather’s upright piano, which she has mastered over the years. Along the way, she’s added the drums, saxophone, and bass guitar to her musical repertoire, and recently has become a songwriter. Oh, did we mention she’s only 17?

“I started writing songs my junior year of high school,” said Avery, who is now a senior at Rumson-Fair Haven High School. “My friend Shannon Corsi wanted me to give it a try sophomore year, and I was hesitant that I would never be as good as her. She constantly encouraged me until one day I decided I was going to write a song.

“After I showed it to her, she told me not to stop and to keep going with it. Her criticism on how I wrote and on new ideas on how to make certain parts stand out still follow me today. Every time I write a song, if I’m unable to show it to her, I think of things she’s told me in the past to help me succeed in my writing.”

Avery will perform one of her original songs, Inhaling Can Go Wrong, at TEDxAsburyPark IDENTITY at the Paramount Theatre Saturday, May 20. Avery earned a spot at the event after wowing the crowd at an open mic contest in January with the song.

“The song speaks on behalf of troubled teens facing loss in the community to do substance abuse in high schools as well as colleges,” Avery said. “Too many lives are lost due to making bad choices and following bad leaders. People need to lead themselves when it comes to making healthy choices.”

Avery is no stranger to the Asbury Park music scene. She took classes at the Lakehouse Music Academy in Asbury Park, where she met a few other musicians and formed a band, Avery Rose and The Thorns. The group performed at local spots, including The Stone Pony, and were headliners at The House of Independents. Finding like-minded individuals who have a love of music can be hard if you don’t know where to go, this is where a music community app can come in handy, connecting musicians and professionals together to create something magical like Avery has. Avery also attended GRAMMY Camp, an exclusive summer music industry program for high school students interested in having a career in music.

Though her band has disbanded, she still plays music as a solo artist. The busy high school student works part-time at Mr. Pizza Slice and Whipped Creperie in Red Bank and has developed a new passion-food.

She considers the owner of the two food establishments, Nick Napoletano, a mentor and her work there has inspired her to attend culinary arts school. Her ultimate goal? To combine her passion for music and food.

“I want to open up a restaurant,” she said. “I’ve realized that there are very few places where you can sit down and have an excellent meal plus listen to local musicians on a big stage, like the good old days when there was more of a jazz scene long before my time. I’d like to become an entrepreneur and incorporate music and food into areas to benefit the community.”

With all she’s accomplished already, there’s no doubt she can do it.

Come hear Avery perform at TEDxAsburyPark and listen to other musicians and speakers at IDENTITY. Get your tickets today.

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