Gabriel Ayala
Gig Seeker Pro

Gabriel Ayala

Tucson, Arizona, United States | MAJOR

Tucson, Arizona, United States | MAJOR
Band Classical Jazz




"Across Turtle Island"

listen to radio interview

Special Extended Anniversary ShowOriginal Air Date: November 21, 2010

INTERVIEW:   Gabriel Ayala.
MUSIC:   Chippewa Travellers – "Better Beginnings"; Jerry Sereda - “Simple Life”; BlueDog – “Get up & Get out”; Sayani – "Come Closer"; Tha Tribe – "Opening Invocation" & "Contest Song #2"; Yvonne St Germaine – “Put Your Hand In The Hand"; RainSong - "A Clear Path To Follow"; Kelly Montijo Fink – "The Choice" – Featuring Jan Michael Looking Wolf; Gabriel Ayala - “Malaguena” & "Remembrance"; Cheevers Toppah – "The Spirit of Joy, the Son of God He Is, He Knows"; Don Amero - “Pray”.
COMMENTS:   If you have questions or comments about this interview or the music played on this show, EMAIL JENY.
RELEVANT LINKS:   Please click the following links for information on music artists highlighted on this program.
Chippewa Travellers
Jerry Sereda
Tha Tribe
Yvonne St Germaine
Kelly Montijo Fink
Jan Michael Looking Wolf
Gabriel Ayala - Big Valley Radio

"Gabriel Ayala/Tango CD Review"

I roll out the driveway and head east down the midtown greenway headed for the West River Road, my favorite route in the early morning. This morning of romance and sunrise and cups of strong black coffee deserves the sweet sounds of beautiful flamenco guitar from internationally recognized classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala’s(Yaqui) latest CD titled Tango.

The flamenco guitar is a slightly smaller, brighter and more percussive sounding version of the classical guitar and is made of Spanish cypress and spruce with gut strings and still has the old fashioned wooden tuning pegs. Flamenco guitars really started coming into their own with the advent of nylon strings and mechanical metal tuning pegs. Flamenco guitar involves some stylistic differences from what is considered classical guitar.
Tango is a style of music that originated in the immigrant communities of Argentina and Uruguay, known for the style of dance associated with the music, it is commonly played by a sextet(orquesta tipica) consisting of two violins, piano, double bass and two bandoneons(small hand-held accordion).
“In American Ballroom tango, the “close embrace” involves close contact in the pelvis or upper thighs, but not the upper body.” It occurs to me that I am doing the Tango in close embrace on my bike down the Minnehaha Blvd. bike trail as I wind smoothly but aggressively in a staccato rhythm through the trees next to the creek. Yeah this ride is a tango.

La Cumparsita is perhaps the most widely known of all tango melodies and was composed by Gerardo Matos Rodriguez (1897-1948) from Uruguay who was a giant in the world of Tango in the early 1900’s.
Milongo del Angel, Buenos Aires Hora Cero, and Verano Porteno, were all composed by Astor Piazzolla (1921 -1992) an Argentine tango composer and bandoneon (small hand held accordion) player who created Nuevo tango by incorporating elements of jazz and classical music into the tango form.
The third track, Tango was composed by Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909), an important figure in the early establishing of the guitar as a concert and recital instrument.
Don Perez Freire was composed by Agustin Barrios Mangore, and contemporary guitar virtuoso John Williams has said, “As a guitarist/composer, Barrios is the best of the lot, regardless of era. His music is better formed, it’s more poetic, it’s more everything!”
Tango en Skai composed by Roland Dyens (b. 1955), the fifth trac on Ayala’s Tango CD, is his most widely known piece. Skai is French for imitation leather and refers to the Gauchos of Argentina and Southern Brazil because they are known for the distinctive leather outfits they wear.
Por Una Cabeza was composed by Carlos Gardel (1890-1935) whose recordings and films more than anyone’s are responsible for the spread of tango internationally.
The tango El Chocto was written by Angel Villoldo (1861-1919) who made the first ever tango recording.
This CD has work on it by all of the giants of Tango and is full of subtlety and nuance. It’s been some time since I listened to some actual precise guitar work and this CD has that and more. This is genuine flamenco and this CD is full of the deepest most profoundly beautiful stylistic narratives on the evolution of Tango music. I am at peace with movement like dance when I ride and I think everything is going to be all right.
I’m riding the bicycle tango through the trees, watching the creek flow, thinking that tango flows like sex and sweat and blood, not like water. Tango is a brilliantly played collection of works by all of the pre-eminent tango composers of history. This beautiful guitar work inspires, cajoles, coaxes and tells lies like all great romances and I ride with Willa and seventh grade puppy love on my mind and in my heart. I always wanted to do the tango with you and I never did. I regret that. But regret doesn’t stop no bike ride. This ride is for you. I remember you and those eyes like it was yesterday. - Native American Times

"Gabriel Ayala ; (Los Vegas) City Life Picks"

Gabriel Ayala

If you're a warrant-free fan of classical guitar and all things Native American, head down to the federal courthouse Friday to catch the music of Gabriel Ayala -- teacher, traveling musician and member of the Yaqui tribe of Arizona.

Ayala, who has been toying with tunes since childhood and holds a master's degree in musical performance, will drop your jaw with his rapid-fire fingerpicking of pieces ranging from originals to works by J.S. Bach to traditional Scottish songs.

The concert is part of the Downtown Courthouse series, which will bring multi-instrumentalist Kayla Huntsman and Puerto Rican rhythm masters Plena Libre later this year. Who said suits don't know good music? Kristy Totten, Noon, Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse, 333 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 229-3515, free - Los Vegas City Life

"RezStyle – Gabriel Ayala with host Kimberlie Acosta"

RezStyle with host Kimberlie Acosta talking with Gabriel Ayala, a Classical guitarist and a member of the Yaqui people of southern Arizona. RezStyle is a Native American Talk show from on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Reservation at Reserve, Wisconsin.

*Follow link to watch Video - News from Indian Country

"Annoucement of Endorsement"

We are proud to announce a new endorser for our new Hannabach
string series 888 “GreenLine”. - Hannabach

"Classical for a Cause"

Kimberly Craft interviews guitarist Gabriel Ayala about his heritage and his involvement in a charity concert.

Native American classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala found his roots in music and decided to put that talent to use to help others find their way through academia.

A member of the Yaqui tribe, Ayala graduated with a degree in music from the University of Arizona in 1997. Since that time he has traveled the world making music as a soloist and with some of the biggest names in the industry. He says he was approached by the Native American Students Association at Pima Community College for help and will give a benefit concert on Monday, March 21st, at the Proscenium Theatre Center for the Arts at Pima Community College.

Ayala has a profound understanding of the value of education and knows the challenges of unfamiliar environments that face Native students. He also has found expression through music, he says, and hopes to bring inspiration to the next generation of college bound students.

*follow link to watch video - Arizona Public Media

"Notable Attributes"

Gabriel Ayala and Will Clipman

Passion, Fire & Grace (Canyon Records CR-7098, 2010)

Native American guitarist Gabriel Ayala (of the Yaqui people) has got an ear for different styles, the chops to play them and the gumption to mix things up. Where his focus was on playing classical guitar for a good portion of his professional career, the last few years have seen his fingers gravitating more toward jazz, flamenco and tango.

Passion, Fire & Grace has ample amounts of everything the title promises; Ayala delicately nails pieces that split the difference between the Iberian Peninsula and the Southwestern U.S., with some choice stops in between.

Whether stretching out on snappy rumba flamenco, incorporating lesser-known forms such as farruca into the “JazzMenco” of the title track, creating an inspired improvisation around a basic chord progression or expertly covering compositions by the likes of Vicente Amigo, Luiz Bonfa and Paco de Lucia, Ayala’s acoustic ingenuity thrills and caresses. But he doesn’t go it alone. Joining him on percussion is Will Clipman, a player who has mastered many beat-providing instruments from around the world and knows exactly where to fit them in.

Apart from building frequently tasty foundations beneath Ayala’s picking and strumming, Clipman’s array of hand drums and rhythmic devices adds zest to the livelier selections and mystery to the ethereal ones, and there’s a satisfying level of both on the disc.

The symbiosis between these two players ranges from laid-back simple to almost supernaturally tight. I’ll let you pick your own best example of the latter, but my favorite instance of the former occurs on the spatial, pulsating “Whispers from Eagle Hill / Zuni Sunrise,” which also includes the voice of Ed Lee Natay, the Navajo singer who recorded his first album with Canyon Records 60 years ago. - Wolrd Music Central


2003 - Gabriel Ayala
2004 - Feathers & Fringes, Gathering of Nations Comp.
2007 - I'll Be Home for Christmas
2008 - Tango!
2008 - Portraits
2009 - Sonoran Nights
2010 - Passion, Fire & Grace
2011 - Rememberance
2012 - Shades of Blue



A member of the Yaqui people of southern Arizona, Gabriel Ayala(Guitarist) is at the forefront of a new generation of Native Americans making a career performing classical music. He earned a Master's Degree in Music Performance from the University of Arizona in 1997, has taught at all educational levels from elementary through college, and serves as a competition adjudicator. Although Gabriel truly enjoys being a teacher his busy touring schedule allows him to only teach in masterclass settings.
A member of the Yaqui people of Southern Arizona, guitarist Gabriel Ayala is an accomplished classical musician. He is positioned at the forefront of a new generation of Native American musicians, breaking all native and non-native stereotypes with his trailblazing assortment of music genres and accolades.
Gabriel earned a Master's Degree in Music Performance from the University of Arizona in 1997, has taught at all educational levels from elementary through college, and serves as a competition adjudicator. Although he truly enjoys being a teacher, his busy touring schedule allows him to only teach in Master Class settings.
Ayala performs regularly throughout the United States and Internationally. Locally, he has appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Museum of the American Indian, Musical Instrument Museum and the Oscar Meyer Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. Recently, he was a featured artist at President Barack Obama's Inaugural Ball. He has been recognized by the former State of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, now Director of Homeland Security, for his musical achievements. In addition, he has also been highly honored with the University of Arizona's Tanner Award that recognizes significant professional career success and contributions and leadership benefiting American Indian communities. Not only is Gabriel recognized locally and in the United States but he has also had the opportunity to play for Pope Benedict XVI at the canonization of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha in Rome, Italy. He was also the featured performer at the “Festival Internacional de la Guitarra Academica” in Venezuela with performances in Caracas, Guarenas, Guatire and on National Public Television throughout Venezuela.
Gabriel has been featured in several media publications such as “Native Peoples”, “Indian Country Today”, “SAY Magazine” (Canadian and United States Editions), “Spirit of the Southwest (German Publication)”, “Native America Calling”, “Canadian Broadcasting Corporation” and numerous others.
Gabriel has received numerous music awards from national and international awards programs that include Native American Music Awards “Best Instrumental CD”, “Best World Music”, and “Artist of the Year”, the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards “Best International Album”, and Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards “Best Instrumental”. Gabriel received many accolades in his career among them is the honor of sharing the stage with Motown living legends The Four Tops, The Temptations, Richie Havens, Dr. John, and many others.
In 2012, Gabriel started his own record label/recording studio entilted, “DeezMas Records”, in hopes to start a Native American Record Label to help promote aspiring Native American Artists. “Shades of Blue” is Ayala's first release through DeezMas Records and it has been met with great success. Upon it's release, “Shades of Blue” was ranked #1 on CDBaby for over four (4) months. Prior to DeezMas Records, Ayala released three self-distributed albums: “Self Titled” in 2003, “I'll Be Home for Christmas” in 2007 and “Tango!” in 2008. Gabriel also has several other releases through his past record label with a total of ten (10) CD's on the market.
Although Gabriel is a classically trained musician, he has ventured out into playing many diverse genres of music which include classical, jazz, flamenco, tango and most recently JazzMenco. JazzMenco is Gabriel's original genre of music which he showcases around the world. The fusion of jazz and traditional flamenco was inspired by his affinity for both of these genres. JazzMenco can be described as the driving rhythmic force of flamenco with the improvisational feel and chord structure of jazz.
As Ayala continues to travel throughout the United States and other countries, he serves as an advocate for education for all youth. He does this through guitar workshops, motivational speaking, presentations in various minority communities. He sets an example for native communities by instilling his values of living a traditional lifestyle while abstaining from Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco.
Gabriel believes in leading our children in the right direction through his philosophy, “Love your children, Honor your elders, and Respect your women”. Gabriel wants to share the gift of music with as many people as possible. And he serves as an example and delivers a message to children, letting them know that they can become whatever they dream. Gabriel currently resides in T