Gabriel Francisco will bring a new dimension of Spanish guitar artistry to the Arizona Senior Academy when he performs in concert here at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (Sept. 13).
Born and raised in Tucson, his first encounter with the guitar was at the age of 13. It so impressed him that following some early lessons, his natural music abilities led him into studying and mastering bass guitar in the Tejano tradition.
Tejano music (also called Tex-Mex) originated in the late 19th century among the Mexican-American populations of central and southern Texas, combining folk and popular genres. Francisco’s bass guitar experience grew from playing with a local band called Latin Tradition.
Following a move to San Antonio, Texas, where he lived for 12 years, he began to play for such Tejano artists and groups such as Emilio Navaira, La Diferencia, Group Mazz, Shelly Lares and others.
In 2002, Francisco was named Tejano Bass Player of the Year at the Tejano Texas Talent Musicians Association Awards Ceremony held annually in San Antonio.
Since returning to Tucson, Francisco has been playing in many venues and has expanded his music repertoire, inspired by such international artists as Andre Segovia, Jose Feliciano, and Carlos Montoya.
His first original CD was titled, “From My Soul to Your Heart,” and since then he has recorded eight albums, the latest released in March, and is available from Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, and Pandora. He continues to perform both locally and nationally.
When asked about the program he has prepared for his ASA concert; he said his program will be determined by his mood and the responsiveness of his audience. Based on enthusiastic comments from Villagers who have been to his performances, we are in for a special treat.
Written by Richard Miya, Academy Village Volunteer