Guatemalan blues. No, that's not right. Bilingual bossa nova. Eh, it sounds fun. But it doesn't quite capture it all. OK, We think we've got it.
We'll call it music. Better yet, damn good music. After all, a word that accurately describes Gaby Moreno's eclectic blend of '20s and '30s blues, Brazilian beats, and Guatemalan flavor has yet to be invented.
The Guatemalan-born indie-pop songstress developed her love affair with iconic American musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Nina Simone as a young child in New York City.
"I heard an African American woman singing on the street in New York City when I was younger," Moreno says on her website. "I just froze. When I asked her what she called that music, she looked at me and said, 'That's the blues, honey.'"
It was then that Moreno decided she would become a songwriter.
In 2006, she won the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her song, "Escondidos," and was nominated for an Emmy in 2010 for composing Parks and Recreation's theme song with Vincent Jones.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
After touring the globe with folks like Tracy Chapman and Ani Difranco, Moreno is out on her own supporting her latest album, Illustrated Songs. And earlier this year, she stopped by NPR's studios for what might be the greatest Tiny Desk Concert in that series' history.
She's a truly remarkable singer, a captivating performer, and a remarkable storyteller. Thankfully, she'll be playing Bardot later this month.
Gaby Moreno. Tuesday, October 11. Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 9 p.m. Call 305-576-5570 or visit bardotmiami.com.