All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Gaby Moreno

Gaby Moreno Gaby Moreno

Gaby Moreno’s new album, Illustrated Songs, continues her love affair with the sounds of the blues, soul and jazz that captivated her as a girl. Although she was born and raised in Guatemala, it was the sounds of the American South that inspired her to become a songwriter and recording artist. “I heard an African American woman singing on the street in New York City when I was younger. I just froze. When I asked her what she called that music, she looked at me and said, ‘That’s the blues, honey.’”

As Moreno devoured albums by Robert Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, she discovered an affinity for the vintage African American sounds of the 20s, 30s and 40s. She combined them with the sound of the Latin music she loved from the same era to create the 12 tunes on Illustrated Songs. Her affection for old fashion music is even reflected in the record’s title.

“The illustrated song is a type of visual art from the vaudeville era of the 20s,” Moreno explains. “You could consider it an early kind of video. They’d project still images from glass slides on a screen and have live musicians playing to accompany the pictures. Since this album was inspired by the music of the 20s and 30s, the title went well with the mood of the record. Every song is in its own little world.”

Moreno co-produced Illustrated Songs with engineer Ryan Freeland (Aimee Mann, Grant-Lee Phillips, Ray LaMontagne). The album was cut live, in four days, with her regular rhythm section; Sebastian Aymanns on drums, bassist Leslie Lowe and Moreno herself on guitar, complimented by a string, horn and woodwind section arranged and conducted by Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann, Grant-Lee Phillips) as well as guest musicians Patrick Warren, Larry Goldings, Greg Leisz, Bob Mintzer, David Piltch and Mark Goldenberg.

Read more

Tags

Gaby Moreno’s soulful vocals and ability to switch languages and genres have made her a rising star.”

-NPR ��” All Things Considered

“The Guatemalan songwriter Gaby Moreno plucked ragtimey syncopations on a well-worn acoustic guitar, and let loose a tangy, bluesy voice with the feistiness of Édith Piaf.”

-NY Times

”Moreno's breathtaking voice is passionate and stylistically malleable, as she glides back and forth easily between bossa nova and bluesy rock.” -NPR - Tiny Desk Concerts

“Guatemalan singer/songwriter Gaby Moreno distilled inspiration from both Latin and African-American musical idioms from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s and poured them into the 12-track album, Illustrated Songs

Read more

Photos

Albums

Watch

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.