Gaby Moreno: Spanglish Folk-Soul
Since moving to Los Angeles from her native Guatemala, singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno has achieved remarkable success as a musician. She has been nominated for a Grammy (2017) for her latest album, Ilusión, an Emmy (2010) for composing the theme song for NBC’s “Parks & Recreation” , and won the Latin Grammy for Best New Artist (2013).
I first learned about Gaby Moreno’s music when I moved to Portland back in 2010. When I first heard “Ave Que Emigra” and “Sing Me Life” from her 2011 album Illustrated Songs, I was hooked.
Ilusión is a beautiful new album, celebrating what Gaby’s calls “Spanglish folk-soul” with a diverse range of rhythms and songs about love and hope. We talked about her song “Fronteras”, dedicated to Latinos in the US living across two lands, and her love of the Blues. Of course with my salsa nerd-ity, we had to discuss her brilliant flamenco-esque cover of “La Malagueña”.
You can imagine how thrilled I was for the opportunity to interview her – live, in studio – for my the March 29, 2017 special live episode of my podcast, Intersections Radio! She joined me at KBOO Community Radio, guitar in hand, and we had great fun.
**Gaby Moreno opened for Ricky Martin as a 10 year old…and OWNED it.
**Recognizing the value of our roots: In 2006, her song, “Escondidos,” took the top prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, the first contestant in the Latin category to win Song of the Year. This experience inspired her to write more Blues music in Spanish.
**Seriously, check out the video of her “teaser trailer” cover of “La Malagueña”. Check out the podcast!
Air date: 3/29/2017 (KBOO)
**You can read a transcript of the interview: 040517 Intersections with Gaby Moreno transcript
Photo by Jose Leon
Don’t miss this video from the interview!