Gaba Gavi
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Gaba Gavi

Louisville, Kentucky, United States

Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Band Pop Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




Gaba, a singer/songwriter hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, can still be considered a true New Orleanian in many ways. He comes to the city frequently, recording songs for his upcoming album “Something’s Wrong with Everything”.
Even his producer, Tom Drummond (a familiar face from the widely known Better Than Ezra) gives him all the Big Easy credibility he needs.
When in New Orleans, Gaba shows the true meaning of living in the studio. Early mornings start with breakfast at his favorite spot, Stein’s Deli on Magazine and then briskly back to the studio. He records and practices all day and night, only stopping for short meals.
Once a piece is completed, he briefly celebrates with friends, including trips to the Marigny, Lower Garden District, or Uptown bars and restaurants. Spending time with Gaba, you can really feel his love of the city and becoming part of a thriving music scene. With excitement, he tells me about the album being almost finished and the Album Release Party, which will also be in New Orleans. He looks forward to moving to New Orleans soon after the album release to start performing songs from the album.
In true singer/songwriter fashion, Gaba writes his own lyrics and also plays both the piano and acoustic guitar. His music is warm and uplifting, speaking about love and relationships.
The shoot for Gaba’s album was set in New Orleans, with locations being Audubon Park and the new “it” bar Cure. The images were shot by Los Angeles-based fashion photographer, Benny Haddad. The wardrobe consisted of classic vintage designer garb including pieces from Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, and Christian Dior. Add a little denim to give a bit of edge and you have the taste and style of this reserved and intriguing musician. - Amelie G Style Magazine

"Gaba Gavi CD Release Party"

Originally from Louisville, Gaba Gavi left in 2001 for Boston University, and similarly, began playing guitar when he arrived in Boston. He returned home after finishing school in Oct. 2004. While in Boston he befriended a multitude of music biz names such as, Matt Nathanson, Ari Hest, Stephen Kellogg, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Gavin DeGraw, Rusted Root, and others.
After returning home Gavi began writing more music and continued performing in cities such as Boston, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, and a few others alongside such people as Emm Gryner (from Canada), Tricia Conception (Detroit), and Liz Berlin (of Rusted Root). With support from Liz Berlin, Gavi entered Liz's studio in Pittsburgh in Sept. 2005 to record an EP with Berlin taking the seat as producer (and, incidentally, a guest appearance on the record).
With an anticipated release of Jan. 15th, Gavi is having a CD Release Party at Phoenix Hill Tavern in Louisvile on Jan. 21st, supported by Luke Doucet who is currently on tour with Josh Rouse in Europe and the US.
You might have heard Gavi on WLRS's local show on Sunday evenings, 102.3 The Max, or, if you’re the traveling type, WERW in Syracuse, WTBU in Boston, and WXRT in Chicago. With other Louisville media support such as an in-store at Ear-X-Tacy scheduled and reviews expected from Velocity, LEO, and Louisville music news, Gavi hoping for a very successful local release and a big 2006 -

"Gaba Gavi CD Release Show"

College does a lot of things to a lot of people. For Louisville’s Gaba Gavi, something about being in Boston for his collegiate coming-of-age sparked the creative plug, and he learned the guitar. Here, just a few years later, comes his debut release, The Things We Want To Hear. He may have gotten some songwriting chops there in college as well, as this falls into the alt-rock radio format quite well. The sound is good, his voice tailored for some sort of mainstream success, so long as public radio and universities continue to put out a signal. Gavi plays WFPK’s Live Lunch on Friday at noon, with the release show the following night. Luke Doucet opens. - LEO Weekly

"NYC Interview"

Gaba Gavi, 24, reaches his hand towards the Kentucky-license plate of his red Pontiac Firebird and pops the trunk open. His keyboard, guitar and instrument stands, the sole passengers of Gavi’s just-concluded 12-hour drive to New York City, lie in a neatly assembled row across the back of the car.
Gavi balances the keyboard under one of his arms, its accompanying stand under the other, and walks across the sidewalk to the door of Arlene’s Grocery, an East Village club. The weight appears disproportionately large for his petite frame, but Gavi’s movements reflect a sense of routine.
“This is the life of an independent artist,” he says with a smile.
Since beginning his journey as a singer-songwriter six years ago, Gavi has balanced tireless self-marketing efforts with his natural sense of humility. Despite a professionally produced CD and numerous professional contacts, Gavi rarely finds his work to measure up to the artists he admires, and considers each booked gig an achievement in itself.
Gavi’s interest in performing and writing music sparked in 2001, while attending Boston University as a business major and frequenting the local concert scene. Whenever he heard a set he liked, Gavi introduced himself to the artist, and before long he developed a slew of contacts in the indie music world.
“I came across a lot of people who were pretty decent,” Gavi remembers. “There are plenty of people out there, who are with indie labels or really small boutique labels but make a really great living. And they don’t have to have the big labels behind them to do that.”
During his college years, Gavi had also picked up the guitar and began crafting his own melodies and lyrics.
“I forced people to listen to my stuff, and when I finished playing and their ears didn’t bleed, I figured it wasn’t terrible,” he remembers.
After returning back home to Louisville to work at his family’s restaurant, Gavi’s, in 2004, he threw himself into songwriting.
“I was writing stuff that, for the first time, I was almost OK with,” he says. “I’m always super critical, because I always compare it to all these people I know, who are successful artists and successful musicians.” Some of Gavi’s accomplished contacts include Rusted Root, John Mayer and Gavin Degraw.
During his friendship with Rusted Root, Gavi has grown particularly close with its vocalist, guitarist and percussionist, Liz Berlin. When Gavi decided to record his own album in the fall of 2005, Berlin offered to produce the work in her Pittsburgh-based studio.
Gavi and his friend Brandon Smith designed the cover for the album, “The Things We Want to Hear,” that was released in January of 2006. So far Gavi has made it available at his shows and a few of Kentucky’s independent record stores for $7 a piece. Out of the 1,000 copies he ordered, he says that he has sold about 400.
“In reality, when you look at the finished product of the CD, I’m not making a whole lot on it,” he says.
As the clock nears 8 p.m at Arlene’s Grocery, Gavi sits at a low, wooden lounge table and writes down a song list with a sharpie. He says he wrote the last song, “Raining on Broadway”, the day before.
Gavi isn’t sure about the expected size of the audience. Aside from advertising the concert on his Myspace page and mailing list, he has notified New York papers.
As he talks, Gavi frequently adjusts his position, crosses and uncrosses his legs and stands up only to sit back down. He says that his clinically flat feet cause muscle pains in his knees and legs, and the resulting sense of chronic discomfort gives him a restless appearance. The pain has also made him an insomniac.
Gavi works long hours every day; after coming home from Gavi’s, where he does everything from cooking to waiting tables, he usually spends hours calling possible venues. He is currently planning on a fall college tour, and has a list of more than 300 colleges to contact. Getting gigs, Gavi says, is by far the greatest challenge of being a self-financed performer.
“Everything is a catch-22,” he says. “At colleges, you need to have some sort of tour history before they book you. So how do you get tour history? You need to play at some sort of a venue. But how do you play shows at venues outside of where you’re based out of, because they require you to have a following? They won’t book you from out of town if you’re not going to bring anyone to the venue. So how are you supposed to build a tour history if you can’t get into a gig?”
Gavi had landed his two New York gigs (the last one took place in early February) after a friend at EMI Records had introduced some of the company’s Artist and Repertoire representatives to his music. They had expressed interest, and the potential of record company presence had been enough to convince New York venues to book him. EMI hadn’t shown up last time, Gavi says, but he has been in touch with a representative from a small, local label who might attend the show tonight.
As Gavi steps into the yellow beam of light by the microphone, his jittery disposition suddenly turns to self-assured. He cradles his acoustic guitar firmly in his arms, pressing the fingers of his left hand around its neck.
“It’s good that I can’t see anything so I can’t tell there’s nobody here,” he speaks into the dim space. At the beginning of his set, the audience consists of the bartender and two other people.
Gavi, however, appears surprisingly unaffected. He steps in place, the corners of his mouth tense with passion and his earnest eyes directed above his imaginary audience. The white reflection from his guitar bounces across a row of empty chairs. His pop-rock songs, resonating a mixture of Gavin DeGraw and Dashboard Confessional, are about love; each about the same girl, Gavi says.
“So much for promises that never come true,” he sings breathily, melodically.
“She’s the first and the last thing that I would ever have given up music for,” he has said earlier. “I would rather not have these songs and still have that relationship in my life.”
During Gavi’s set, a handful of people trickle into the room. Among the audience members is Matt Parker from Sonablast, the small label that Gavi had alerted about his gig. He introduces himself to Gavi and suggests a meeting. An actual deal, however, is unlikely at this point.
“Because we are smaller, it takes a lot for us to go ahead with an album,” Parker says over the phone. “He’s not exactly what we are looking for, but he was good and very charismatic on stage.”
Parker emphasizes that the music industry landscape is undergoing a change: Because of cheaper, more accessible technology, independent artists can self-produce albums of professional caliber.
“We get a lot of submissions that people have done for 2000 bucks and sound great,” Parker says.
“It’s kind of like the Wild West now, the major labels aren’t sure what to do,” he continues. “Clap your Hands say Yeah is, for example, selling hundreds of thousands of records without any kind of representation.”
“But it’s also harder because everybody and their brother can make a CD,” he says.
Gavi himself is not entirely sure about whether or not he is interested in official representation.
“It depends on the specifics, on what they can do for me,” he says.
After the show, Gavi gives a hug to an unfamiliar audience member and thanks her for coming.
“You make the best of it,” he says about the small turnout. “I can still say I played New York City.”
Gavi’s only real disappointment is the complete lack of profits from the venue; with an audience smaller than 30, Arlene’s Grocery keeps all of the ticket sales.
He plans to drive back to Louisville the next morning before 9 a.m, after spending the night at a friend’s apartment in New Jersey.
“I only find myself at best being mediocre to what’s out there,” he says. And it’s only about being persistent, the only reason anything is happening. I’m a pain in the ass and I’m persistent.” - Laura Paloite

"Rock this Town"

A music career wasn't Gaba Gavi's first choice

By Joshua Hammann

Gaba Gavi has always had a love for music, but other than a little trumpet tinkering in the school band, Gavi seemed destined for the business side of music. That was until a chance meeting with one of his favorite bands and four very eye-opening years away from Louisville.


Gavi, 24, never actually acted upon his love of music until moving east in 2001 to attend Boston University. There, he received a business degree and seemed on his way to a career in entertainment law. But along that path, Gavi became enamored with the Boston music scene. "It was just so much bigger and more available," Gavi said.

Soon he was teaching himself guitar and writing his own songs. The final months of his senior year, Gavi, who had also begun managing a musician friend of his, started booking his own shows. He was spurred on by Liz Berlin of the jam band Rusted Root, whom Gavi had befriended after seeing her at several of the band's shows.

When Gavi returned to Louisville last summer, he began writing again and sent his rough demos to Berlin in Pittsburgh. Berlin ended up producing Gavi's EP, "The Things We Want to Hear," and sang on one of the songs.

"I just called her up to see if I could record at her studio, and she decided to take the project on herself," Gavi said.


"I'm not one to say my music is uncategorizable, because it is," Gavi said in a bout of refreshing honesty. "I guess it falls into the genre of acoustic pop, singer-songwriter stuff, with your John Mayers, Gavin DeGraws and Jason Mrazes."

Gavi does fit comfortably into that easygoing adult alternative slot, strumming his guitar gently and playing the piano lightly. But there are moments of darkness that give Gavi a depth and density that is often missing in the lonely troubadour genre. And with just a few years of work under his belt, there is no reason to believe that he can't mature even more.


Gavi just missed out on an opening slot for Duncan Sheik's recent Louisville gig, but he made up for it with a slot at the Midwest Music Summit in Indianapolis. Meanwhile, he will also be playing on Aug. 25 at Kreso's in Bardstown.

Ever the salesman, Gavi is also in talks with the music supervisor of the TV shows "One Tree Hill" and "Smallville" to include some of his music in an upcoming episode.

- Velocity Weekly

"Gaba Gavi | The Things We Want to Hear"

Gaba Gavi, a new face on the indie-pop circuit, is one you may want to watch for. His first CD, an EP entitled The Things We Want to Hear, shows a lot of promise for this Louisville, Ky., native. His soft, heartfelt songs have a quality to them that allow you to easily hear every nuance of every track. While the groundwork of the tracks may seem simplistic, it allows the listener to discern all melody, harmony, and rhythmic elements, including Gavi's earnest vocals.

Helping him on this endeavor is Rusted Root's Liz Berlin. She provides backing vocals and percussion and did a lion's share of the producing and recording in her Millvale, Pa.-based recording studio/performance venue, Mr. Small's Funhouse. Joining Gavi and Berlin on the EP is Andrew Vernon on keyboards and piano, Mike Spernazo on bass, and Matt Vucic on drums. And while I have to admit that this EP isn't the most amazing thing I've ever heard, it is a good, well-rounded collection of songs from someone who has a unique voice in this overcrowded industry.

The songs themselves offer a glimpse of what Gavi's live shows are probably like, as one can imagine that his sound is easily translatable from the disc to the stage. Starting off with "Anything but Show," the listener gets the impression that this will be a relaxing listen. It's sort of a groovy, couch-surfing song, if I may paint a picture for you. Following is "Distance of the Sun," a poppy little jaunt that allows Gavi's vocals a chance to stretch out, and offering a nice hook on which to hang the song. Third in the lineup is "Closer to Me," a fast-paced yet low-key number that sounds like it could fit into the soundtrack of a smart TV show—say, Grey's Anatomy. It feels as if it could be used effectively in a pivotal moment in the show the same way that Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" and Gomez's "How We Operate" were.

The fourth cut, "Right Where You Left Me," has almost an amateurish sound to it, but this somehow makes it more endearing. It's a lost-love song that's worthy of repeated playing. Gavi's voice runs across familiar territory here, but it shows his adeptness at handling this type of vocal: heartfelt, hurt, and wanting happiness.

Happiness shows up on the fifth track, "Sweet Words," a kind of a funky number that ends the disc on an upbeat note. The title of the disc is pulled from the lyrics, and it seems to speak to that love-lost character from the previous song, offering hope in a way.

This collection is a worthy first outing, and the potential for greatness lies within Gaba Gavi. He just needs to throw a little more confidence into his work and keep plugging away, and pretty soon, he just might wind up on that TV show soundtrack. B | Tyson Blanquart

RIYL: Cameron McGill, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gomez, The Fray - PlaybackSTL - Written by Tyson Blanquart

"Music Issue 2007: The Sound You Hear is Innovatoin"

“Music has become an accessory where it used to be a necessity,” says singer-songwriter Gaba Gavi. “I’m not anti-technology, but we are in an instant-gratification society, which makes it difficult to let good things rise to the top.”
Gavi, 25, the son of Moldovan immigrants, hopes good things arise for him, too. His solo album, The Things We Want to Hear, produced by Rusted Root’s Liz Berlin, has been out for almost a year, and he’s still peddling it near and far — like the Virgin Islands, where he’ll play a string of dates in mid-August.
Gavi started playing guitar after attending college in Boston, where he was entranced by the city’s all-ages scene. “I’m young, but for what I wanna do, I’m almost past my prime in a way,” he jokes.
Gavi wasn’t aiming for a particular genre; singer-songwriter is, in his words, “just what came out.” His material draws comparisons to John Mayer and Elliott Smith. “I’m a hopeless romantic. I guess I always have been.” —M.H. - LEO Weekly


Temporary Hero (2011)
The Things We Want to Hear - EP (2006)



Gaba Gavi went to college in Boston to learn about business. What he really learned in college was music. Always a fan of song but never a player, Gavi took up the guitar while immersed in the Northeast’s famously hip musical culture. For the Louisville, KY native, the exposure was enough to spark a creative flame that’s now burning blue. The result is The Things We Want To Hear, a slick, forceful debut EP packed with raw emotion and lyrical purity that promises to keep guys like John Mayer and Dave Matthews honest. Gavi’s simplistic guitar style keeps him grounded and chaste, allowing his smooth, refined voice to offer the “curb appeal” that immediately draws a listener’s discerning ear. As much as anything, Gavi’s sophisticated passion for his songs and the messages they relay — as well as his sense of impending progress — is evident from the first line of “Anything But Slow”: I’ve been waiting on the wrong side of comfort/for you to show me how you really feel. On a perfunctory level it’s about waiting for a relationship to blossom; taken deeper, though, Gavi’s announcing his presence, making an entrance, asserting himself as a viable component of modern rock music. Recorded, mixed and produced in a total of five days by Rusted Root’s Liz Berlin (who also makes a guest appearance) at her studio in Pittsburgh, The Things We Want To Hear falls snugly into the pop/alt-rock radio format. It’s also done time in the Top 10 at Louisville’s ear-X-tacy Records, one of the nation’s largest independent music retailers. Look for Gavi traversing the States with his folksy, alternative rock with some regularity in the near future.