Gabriela Anders Biography

Buenos Aires, Argentina. A long tradition of music ran through the family into which Anders was born. She studied classical guitar both privately and at a conservatory but she was also influenced by her father, Jorge Anders (b. 18 April 1939, Buenos Aires, Argentina) who played jazz saxophone. In time, this influence proved stronger than that of the classical repertoire. At the age of 14 she was performing in Buenos Aires, playing guitar and singing, but through visits to her father in New York City, she consolidated her links to jazz. During the 80s, her father arranged for the bands of Mel Lewis and Machito, and he had spells playing and occasionally recording with Duke Ellington and Butch Miles. Upon completion of her high school education, Anders moved permanently to New York where she studied orchestration for brass and strings with Don Sebesky. She also began singing in clubs, performing with artists such as Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and Grover Washington Jnr. , and also led her own group. At one point she sent an unsolicited tape to Warner Brothers Records who reacted positively but did not at that time offer a contract.

Anders then spent some time back in Argentina before returning to New York to resume her studies. Late in 1996 she toured Japan and attracted sufficient attention to warrant an album recorded especially for that market, for which she used the name Beleza. After another tour of Japan the following year, promoting her album, she again returned to New York where she recorded a duet with Michael Franks. Once again, she encountered Warner Brothers and this time was offered a recording contract. In her performances, for the most part, Anders uses her own compositions and co-compositions. Her vocal style draws upon her jazz influences, such as contrasting saxophonists Stan Getz and John Coltrane. As a consequence, her phrasing is strongly jazz influenced. When she sings in a contemporary pop or R&B manner, her work is permeated by the musical sounds of her homeland, most notably by the gently persuasive Latin beat that provides a fluid base to her work.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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