Hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the year’s very best albums”, Gabriel Kahane’s major label debut, The Ambassador (Sony Music) is a meditation on the underbelly of Los Angeles seen through the lens of ten street addresses. Bruce Willis’ hair, detective fiction, modernist architecture, and race riots all provide fodder for this collection of songs that is as sonically varied as it is thematically focused. Gabriel was born in Venice Beach but spent his childhood on the East Coast and in Northern California. With the release of The Ambassador— produced by Kahane along with Matt Johnson (St. Vincent), Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens), and Rob Moose (Bon Iver)— Gabriel turns his gaze toward his birthplace.
This fall, Kahane and his band will appear in the premiere of a staged version of The Ambassador directed by Tony-winner John Tiffany (Once, Black Watch), and designed by Tony-winner Christine Jones (Spring Awakening, American Idiot). The Ambassador will be seen at The Harvey Theater as part of the 2014 BAM Next Wave Festival, as well as at UCLA and Carolina Performing Arts.
A tireless collaborator, Kahane’s recent credits include a track on this year’s Beck Song Reader (Warby Parker), an album that also features Jack White, Jarvis Cocker, Laura Marling, and Beck himself; appearances on Blake Mills’ Heigh Ho; several projects with Sufjan Stevens; as well as performances and recordings with Punch Brothers’ frontman Chris Thile.
Dividing his time between the club and the concert hall, Kahane has been commissioned by, among others, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom he toured last spring performing Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States, an hour-long cycle on texts from the WPA American Guide Series. He has appeared in recital with string quartet Brooklyn Rider at Carnegie Hall, at the Library of Congress with fellow composer/performer Timo Andres, and on tour throughout North America with cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
Kahane’s musical February House received world premiere productions at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven and New York’s Public Theater in 2012; an original cast album was released on StorySound Records. Upcoming theater projects include commissions from the Public Theater in New York and Signature Theater in Arlington, VA, as well as a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker.
He lives in Brooklyn, NY.