Growing up oldest of 4 brothers and having a musical family has always been a big influence on his life. Watching his grandfather play accordion and his grandmother play guitar when he was young made him realize that he was meant to be a musician. He loved the music and the heritage that came with the music so at the very young and impressionable age of 12 he was already playing violin and guitar which then lead him to play with a youth Mariachi group in the hometown of Alice Texas.
John Vela was his director in that group that helped influence the young mariachi to join a professional group “Mariachi Royale”, being the youngest of the group they nicknamed him “Baby”, Traveling to San Antonio Texas and going to the Mariachi Conference and Competition he had the chance to meet Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan and the founder Silvestre Vargas and in turn helped him to realize that his goal in life would be to be a part of the wonderful world of Mariachi Music.
In 1987 his life was about to change moving with the family to Michigan where it is rare to see a Mariachi Musician anywhere. One day when his mother was listening to Pepe Aguilar, she commented on how much her son looked like him and that he could sing like him so who knows maybe there was a future in singing after all for him. Well that in itself was enough to stir a want in Gabriel to start singing again and so he went out to buy some pistas of Pepe Aguilar, Vicente Fernandez, Antonio Aguilar and Jose Alfredo Jimenez, to name just a few of the great Mariachi Musicians of our time. He now he has over 200 songs and still learning and looking for more music to add to his now great collection.
Performing in a number of Church festivals to just name a few, St. Francis Xavier and Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph the worker in Grand Rapids, Michigan and other church festivals in the West Michigan area. He also has performed in the 5 De Mayo Festivals in Holland, Michigan for the past 5 years, the Hispanic Festival and Mexican Festival in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Marshall and Muskegon Michigan, Ohio’s South of the Border Festival in Perrysburg, Ohio and the Fiesta Racine in Racine, Wisconsin to name a few. Performing for the Mexican Consulate of Detroit at the 5 De Mayo festival and performing for Mr. Antonio Meza Estrada was a great honor. At this time Gabriel sings Friday Nights at Su Casa Resturant in Fennville, Michigan and Saturday Nights at Lindo Mexico Restaurant in Grand Rapids, Michigan and other multiple places.
Education is a big part of who he is also: He has an Associates in Arts from Grand Rapids Community College During his college career he had opportunities for other honors in the music world. He was selected as a finalist for the 11th Annual Ford Motor Company Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Vocal Competition in San Antonio Texas where he received 1st place in the College/University level. Thanks to the honor of winning the competition he was selected to perform a solo act for the College Final Music concert. Since Gabriel had helped Grand Rapids Community college bring together the first Mariachi Ensemble at Grand Rapids Community College.
Vicente Fernandez, Pedro Infante, Javier Solis, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Jorge Negrete, Antonio Aguilar, Pepe Aguilar, Juan Gabriel, Alejandro Fernandez