Latin Grammy-winner Gaby Moreno performs with her trio in free family performances with ¡Viva el Arte de Santa Bárbara! Hear them at Isla Vista School, Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m (6875 El Colegio Rd., Goleta).; then at Guadalupe City Hall, Saturday, March 10 at 7 p.m. (918 Obispo St., Guadalupe) and at the Marjorie Luke Theatre, Santa Barbara Jr. High, Sunday, March 11 at 7 p.m. (721 Cota St.).
Born and raised in Guatemala, Moreno grew up inspired by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Aretha Franklin. She immersed herself in blues, R&B and 60’s Soul and learned to speak English by singing the songs she loved. She moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue a career in music.
Moreno describes her music as, “Spanish folk-soul,” and the original blend of Jazz, Blues and 1960s Rock & Soul has earned her the respect and appreciation of audiences in Latin America, Europe and U.S. In 2013, she received a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist. Previously in 2006, she won the Grand Prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Moreno co-wrote the theme song for NBC’s hit television show Parks and Recreation and recorded the theme song for Disney’s Elena of Avalor series. In 2012 Gaby recorded Fuiste Tu with the legendary Guatemalen singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona.
Moreno has toured across the globe alongside artists like Tracy Chapman, Ani DiFranco, Ricardo Arjona, Van Dyke Parks, The Punch Brothers and Calexico. Most recently she performed at David Byrne’s Meltdown Festival in London and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, and has been part of the Celebrating David Bowie world tour in Tokyo, Sydney, Los Angeles and London. She often performs on NPR’s Live From Here, and on his recent visit to Santa Barbara host Chris Thile praised her as “one of my favorite duet partners.”
Moreno’s music celebrates Latin American traditional styles, but she has a strong affinity for American blues. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, she relayed her experience as a 13-year-old visiting New York for the first time, “I hear this woman singing in the streets and she is singing this song that completely enraptured me. I listened for about 20 minutes and I said, ‘What’s that song that you’re singing? What’s that style?’ She said, ‘That’s the blues, honey.’”
All performances are FREE.