Bruce Willis’ hair, detective fiction, modernist architecture, and race riots all provide fodder for Gabriel Kahane’s major label debut, The Ambassador (Sony Masterworks), a meditation on the underbelly of Los Angeles seen through the lens of ten street addresses. Gabriel was born in a modest bungalow in Venice Beach, California, but spent his childhood in New England, upstate New York, and Northern California. Now, 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 with his most focused album to date.
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.
In a few years, Gabriel has accrued a diverse list of collaborators, having performed or recorded with artists ranging from Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Chris Thile, and Brad Mehldau to Jeremy Denk, Jonathan Biss, and composer/conductor John Adams.
Equally at home in the world of theater as on the concert stage, Kahane’s musical February House received its world premiere production at New York’s Public Theater in May 2012; an original cast album was recently released on StorySound Records. His current theater projects include a staged version of The Ambassador, directed by Tony-winner John Tiffany (Once, Blackwatch) that will be seen at BAM, UCLA, and Carolina Performing Arts this season; commissions from the Public Theater and Signature Theater (Arlington, VA); and a collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker.
Gabriel makes his home in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.