Michael first began singing classical compositions - everything from Italian folk songs to arias and he even started to open the door to opera. It all changed when he started playing guitar. He was immediately drawn to the craft of songwriting. He dove into performing for original pop rock bands in Canada and the US. Eventually, he returned to his finger-picking style on his nylon string guitar. This chapter extended for a decade and included the divine singersongwriter lifestyle of being on the road, in a camper, in the studio and on the stage.
For extensive press articles and further info about the series, visit the official Strings Attached page here.
Michael, the ensemble, and his management team are currently booking and seeking concert hall venues that will effectively showcase and accommodate this orchestral event in domestic and international locations.
2016 started off in Dothan, Alabama in January. This was the first time Michael performed an entire concert with an entire ensemble from the community he was playing in. The Wiregrass Youth Symphony were featured, along with core members from the Tri-State Community Orchestra and a local pianist and percussionist. This was also the first time a flutist was on stage. The show was well received by the press and the public (See Dothan Eagle Article). Michael has already booked a date next year in Dothan to feature the Tri-State Community Orchestra. A second ‘Strings Attached’ show will happen in Alabama in March 2016.
Shows have been booked and continue to be booked for 2016 and 2017. With these bookings, showcasing possibilities and a new recording project in the months ahead, the calendar will be dynamic, full and geographically spread out. Please see our Calendar for all upcoming performances and preview shows. We look forward to seeing you at a show!
‘Strings Attached’ continued to gain momentum in 2015 by expanding the string section. Local string sections joined the core members and local guest choirs for the performances. This addition brought tremendous results and became the new standard for the community integration program (See Greater Hamilton Musician, Barrie Examiner and Barrie Advance Articles). The last three shows in 2015 featured local string academy musicians.
Between the ‘Strings Attached’ performances, Michael utilized the window to cross the country on the train with VIA Rail. This was Michael's second round-trip with the Artist On Board Program. He sang songs for the passengers from Toronto to Vancouver and back.
‘Strings Attached’ had come a long way since its first production in 2011. With a well-rehearsed orchestral ensemble, an outreach program that involved epic string sections and choral backing, ‘Strings Attached’ was ready to showcase at conferences for theatre delegates on both sides of the border.
The end of 2015 had a triumphant finish. ‘Strings Attached’ was invited to showcase in two provinces and one state. This all happened within an impossibly short period of time but yielded incredibly strong responses that ultimately lead to bookings at reputable theatre’s for 2016/17. After showcasing in Ohio, Manitoba and Ontario, ‘Strings Attached’ secured multiple bookings for the upcoming season, making it the busiest season to date.
When he returned to Canada in the fall, he performed at the Cambridge Community Players Theatre in October 2014. Michael united with his string section and pianist as they welcomed St. Benedict youth choir and The Hoot adult choir to the stage. The show was extensively covered and supported by the press and the community. (See The Record and The Cambridge Times Article). The production initiated a second booking at the theatre in 2015 to feature the Cambridge Glee Club on the stage with Michael’s string section and pianist.
Michael continued his consistent live schedule in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. He also played online concerts. By the end of 2013, a new solo LP was mixed and mastered. 'A Sliver of the Sun' was the new 8-song CD he released.‘
In the first quarter of 2012 ‘Strings Attached’ performed their fourth concert in Kitchener, Ontario. To take the series one step further – choral parts were arranged for the ‘Shade of Blue’ youth choir to premiere this latest edition of the series. On that special night in February, not only did the show succeed but all the performers truly gelled during this live concert recording to inspire and set into motion the next full length recording.
In May 2012, the noticeably expanded ensemble not only returned to The Aeolian with the London based Mysterium youth choir, but the concert doubled as the official CD release party for ‘Strings Attached’ LIVE.
Michael also spent time in LA to focus on songwriting, performing live and bringing ‘Strings Attached’ to new audiences. He enjoyed several residency gigs in Southern California from roof tops in Venice to patios in Culver City to saloons in the High Desert.
For 2011, Michael prepared to launch the ‘Strings Attached’ concert series: "...Gabriel criss-crossed this country for the past decade mostly with just his guitar in tow and now wants the music he plays to be heard the way he envisioned it." -COVER STORY Bob Klanac - Scene Magazine. With tremendous support from the public and the media - the premier was a success! Michael performed with a pianist, cellist, violist and violinist, to a full room at The Aeolian Hall in London, ON. and received a standing ovation.
For the rest of 2011, ‘Strings Attached’ evolved to adapt an elaborate light show to correspond with the symphonic movements in Michael’s original story-telling and emotionally fluid material, intricate choir arrangements, and a gifted orchestral ensemble, to create: “...a breathtaking coming together of
sound." - Marielle Julian, Velvet Rope Magazine
In 2010, Michael continued to perform solo and introduced piano and cello to the live shows. He also recorded and released another full band single called ‘Penelope Rose’ that would eventually be part of ‘The Discovery’. This CD was released in late 2010 and marked his third LP. It consists of 14 solo tracks and one full band song.
The end of 2010 was punctuated by a cross Canada adventure. It involved Michael performing solo on the trans-continental VIA Rail train from Toronto to Vancouver and back.
For 2009, Michael focused on both radio air-play for ‘Angel Wings’, live performances in Canada, and international bookings. He performed solo and began working with a cellist, pianist, and a drummer.
With the start of 2008, he performed live to promote the new CD and the debut album. In March, an opportunity came up to work with Lakeshore Records on an EP. Michael recorded a total of 4 songs at Tiger Mountain Studios in Los Angeles. The EP was named: ‘Southern California Sessions’ and was released online and on CD. A music video was made for the single - ‘Angel Wings’. Following the release, Michael had several interviews/live performances for radio stations and the track received notable air-play in Ontario. Several live solo performance videos were also recorded and posted.
For the 2007 Canadian National Tour, he traveled for eight months from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast and many places in-between. During the tour, he performed solo (guitar & vocals) songs from the debut full-length album: ‘The Certainty of Change’ and showcased new material. Michael dedicated part of his 2007 tour to spreading awareness about children in developing countries and he continues with this message today. Toward the end of the Canadian National Tour (while on the road), he recorded a new album: ‘In This Together’. The 12-song album was recorded with classical guitar and vocals.
Michael's solo career began after he had accumulated several original compositions. He recorded 2 6-song EP's in Toronto, Ontario in 2003 and 2004. The two solo CD's were called ‘Open to the Moment’ & ‘Places Along the Way’, respectively. He performed in Ontario and eventually - across Canada with his classical guitar to promote the releases.
To help bring these songs and new tracks to a full band setting, 'The Michael Gabriel Band' was formed. For two years, this Toronto based group played live in Toronto and landed a residency gig at Gate 403 in Roncesvalles Village. After polishing several ballads and uptempo tunes, they began working on an original CD that was recorded in three different locations in Ontario. The 14 track album was called 'The Certainty of Change'. This release ignited another Canadian solo tour that put Michael on the road for well over six months.