Chandler Center for the Arts staff sent a Q & A to Gaby Moreno to find out more about the singer-songwriter - how her new album came together, where she finds inspiration and why she loves making music. All the way from Guatemala, GRAMMY award-winner and producer Gaby Moreno is bringing her Latin-infused blend of jazz, soul, blues, and 1960s rock to Chandler, Arizona for a spectacular show. Her seventh and most recent album, Alegoría, has just been nominated for 2023 GRAMMY Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album; the GRAMMY awards will take place on February 5th, 2023!
Touring with artists Tracy Chapman, The Punch Brothers, and Calexico, fans of Jason Isbell, Norah Jones, Pink Martini, and Zimena Sariñana will be mesmerized by this singer-songwriter's bright soulful vocals. Gaby Moreno is the special guest of Los Lobos on March 11th, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. - don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind performance!
Q. What was it that made you interested in pursuing music? Was there a singular moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
A. Since I was 9 years old I’ve been singing and performing in front of audiences. My parents worked in the entertainment business in Guatemala (my dad was a concert promoter and my mother a TV/radio personality) and they always supported my dream of performing for others from very young. I never gave up.
In your opinion, what is the best part about making music for a living?
The fact that you can touch so many lives and make people come together and feel better. Also, there is no way to describe the feeling of being on stage with incredible musicians. That energy is what we live for.
You have such a unique way of blending genres and including lots of influences in your music. What has been inspiring you recently?
Every day life is inspiring. I still listen to the same music that inspired me when I was young. I listen to new stuff as well. Always try to find something new and different for the next project. It’s important to evolve with your sound.
Your newest album, Alegoría, was just released in April of 2022. Can you tell us a little bit about how this album came together and what parts you were/are most excited about?
I was very excited to get back in the studio after the pandemic. We recorded it in the summer of 2021 at The (legendary) Village studios in LA. I produced it and hired one of my favorite mixing engineers, Mike Piersante whose work he did on the Robert Plant and Alison Krauss record I love. I also had some of my guitar heroes on this album - Marc Ribot, David Garza and Greg Leisz. And my tremendous rhythm section Kimon Kirk on bass and Sebastian Aymanns on drums. Jim Keltner came down to play drums on two songs. It was absolutely epic! My favorite album I’ve ever made.
If you weren’t a musician, what other profession would you want to have?
I would probably like to be involved in any way, shape or form in the entertainment business. Either in production, radio and/or TV.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m quite happy here in Los Angeles. I’ve been a resident for over 20 years and it has brought me so many incredible opportunities. I love my community and the music scene. Of course there are other wonderful places in the world that would be amazing to live in for other reasons like New Zealand or Canada, but at this moment I feel LA is/has been a great adoptive city. Can’t beat this weather anywhere else in the US. Also, I love the fact that I’m just a short flight away to Guatemala where I can go visit my family a few times a year.
Who are you listening to right now? Do you have any recommendations for us?
Madison Cunningham hands down is a revelation. She’s a friend too and I’ve known her music for a few years now. I’m so happy she’s becoming bigger and bigger and getting all the recognition she deserves. Through Madi and a collaboration she did recently I was also introduced to Remi Wolf. Incredible voice and her music is super unique. As real as it gets. That would be my two recommendations and while you’re at it check out the duet they released doing Madi’s amazing song Hospital.
Do you have anything else you’d like to tell our patrons?
I’m super excited to be the special guest of Los Lobos. I’ve been an admirer of their music for so long and this will be the first time I do a show together with them. Aside from playing my opening set, I’ll also be joining them on a song or two for their show.