BENNINGTON -- The Bennington Center for the Arts, continuing its summer music series, hosts Gabriel Ayala, and award-winning guitarist from Tucson, Ariz., who transforms Native American music into world music, on Saturday, July 21, at 8 p.m.
Drawing from his Native American heritage and classical training, Ayala’s performances are filled with precise technique, exotic rhythms, and blended styles including classical, jazz and flamenco -- as well as his own creation which he calls JazzMenco.
Ayala performs regularly throughout the United States and has appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Museum for the American Indian, and in 2010, he performed at the Musical Instrument Museum in a series called "Guitar Masters." He is an award winning artist in several music award shows including the Native American Music Awards Best Instrumental CD, Best World Music, and Artist of the Year and the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards Best International Album.
Past blends with future
A member of the Yaqui people of southern Arizona, Ayala is at the forefront of a new generation of Native Americans making a career performing classical music, according to his website. Ayala has been breaking stereotypes amongst Native and Non-Native people by performing classical, jazz, flamenco, and new compositions of his own which he highlighted on his 2010 release of "Remembrance". Also recorded in 2010 is the
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. Not only is he recognized locally and in the United States but Ayala has had the opportunity to be 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 was selected as one of 10 musicians featured in "Native Musicians in the Groove" highlighting stories of musicians in their struggles while persevering with a career in music. He has released three self-distributed albums: "Self Titled" in 2003, "I’ll Be Home for Christmas" in 2007 and "Tango!" in 2008. He has also been a featured artist on several other CD releases.
Other performances scheduled for the BCA this summer include classical pianist Mackenzie Melemed on Aug. 25 and the popular recording artist Tom Rush on Sept. 29.
-- K.D. Norris
Ticket prices are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. For information call 802-442-7158 or visit TheBennington.org.