Alex Alvear came to Boston in 1986 from Ecuador's capital, Quito, and quickly became a key figure in the local Cuban, salsa and jazz live music scenes. He helped found the bands Mango Blue and Ache, and he was the lead vocalist on Timba Loca.

In 2013, he returned to Ecuador to live closer to his parents. But he's back in Boston and reuniting Mango Blue for a performance at Long Live Roxbury on March 9 as part of the brewery's free weekly jazz series.

Alvear began his journey close to 40 years ago with a desire to study music at Berklee College of Music, though he couldn't afford the school. He was motivated to leave home after being kidnapped by the government's secret police, then released.

"I literally had a week," he recalled in an interview with Boston Public Radio on Friday. "I came with a one-way ticket to the States, and slowly but surely, I made my way to Berklee."

While in Boston, he found his sound by working with Puerto Rican salsa and Dominican merengue bands. Then, his love for jazz, rock and roll, and funk all melded together to form the eight-person band Mango Blue, he said.

"I fell in love with Boston as soon as I got off the train on Newbury Street. I walked down and there were bands playing on the street," he said. "It's broken my heart that Boston has lost a lot of its live music scene."

Michael Feldman, owner of the Long Live Roxbury building and Alvear's longtime friend, is partially responsible for bringing his talents back to Boston through his company Feldman Geospatial.

Feldman fell in love with Alvear's music when he saw him live in Somerville in 1996, and they've stayed in touch since.

He said Boston needs things that make people feel good, like jazz performances.

"Last night, there were about 90 people in there [at Long Live Roxbury] smiling, having a great time. The musicians were playing," he said. "It was like, 'Wow.'"

Alex Alvear and Mango Blue will be at Long Live Roxbury from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 9.