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The Aquilian

Brady’s music career takes him to Harvard next year

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Gabe is featured playing the piano on the @gonzagagoodnews Instagram page. (Photo from @gonzagagoodnews Instagram)

 

Gabriel Brady, senior, is a musician who has a long history of experience with his art as an excellent pianist. He believes his home dynamic has a lot to do with his developed skill, but he would not be where he is today without the strong love and passion he has for playing and creating music. Whether he’s playing on his home piano, at school or even on a Gonzaga service trip, many students and adults will tell you how much light and joy his songs can bring to the given atmosphere.

Brady began playing piano when he was just seven years old and continues to practice daily. The “Brady Bunch” (as I’ve nicknamed the awesome family) makes up a very musical household with a mirage of different tastes and styles. When asked just how musical his household is, Brady simply goes down the list of what each of his siblings brings to the table.

“My sister plays the violin, my other sister played the cello and now the guitar, and my younger brother plays the trumpet and the drums,”  Brady said.

In addition to that, Brady’s brother has also begun to test his hand at EDM (Electronic Dance Music) to go along with the trumpet and drums. In the early years of their childhood, the children frequently listened to their mother playing the piano. Perhaps, she is the core cause for the kids’ love of artistic expression in the many forms of music.

As Brady entered the world of music, he fell in love with the traditional Steinway piano his father found for their family. He often spends time playing for everyone to sing and/or play along. However, his magical fingers do not only grace the ears of all who listen on the traditional piano; he also uses the electronic keyboard.

“The keyboard is interesting because I connect it to my computer to produce an output with whatever sounds I’ve loaded onto it,” Brady said.

Brady doesn’t have much of a preference when it comes to playing the traditional piano or electronic keyboard though; as long as he gets to play he is happy.

The family also loves to collaborate and create together. The keyboard is just one way for Brady to join his little brother, John Joseph, in connecting his music to a computer for an EDM remix. Additionally, at the start of quarantine, Brady decided to find an instrument that “no one else really knows” and settled upon none other than the very unique, long-necked Greek Bazouki. Brady says the eight-stringed lute has a “very ornate design and very full sound,” proving to be yet another interesting endeavor for him to take on. Pre-quarantine, Brady also gave piano lessons to local children, with at least nine regular clients, charging $25 for all of his regular lessons.

Brady’s father, who found the family piano, also brought Brady to the magnificent New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest in New Orleans a couple of years ago. This could partly explain why Brady has such a profound fascination for jazz, too. However, he doesn’t stick to just Jazz. Brady enjoys all genres of music.

“Jazz is my favorite because you’re able to improvise as you play,” he said. “Each time you play it’s a little different, which keeps the music from ever getting stale.”

When playing, Gabe especially looks up to superstar jazz pianists like Horace Silver and Bill Evans. He believes these musicians are two of the best, if not the greatest, and really enjoys their compositions.

Fast forward to today, Brady is a member of a selective jazz band in the DC area called the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra. Playing with this band means that Brady has had the opportunity to participate in some really cool exhibitions/performances at high-end venues in Washington, D.C. Brady has even performed in the opening act for a show including the very famous Count Basie Big Band (perhaps known best today as the band that performed Fly Me to the Moon with Frank Sinatra). So now Brady has been able to share his art and musical talent with many, many people.

Before one of his biggest shows for almost 1,000, Brady said, “I was nervous because I had joined the band two weeks prior.”

At times, Brady has had to learn a number of 40 different songs that he might have to play in front of a large crowd, even at times such as when he joined the band just 2 weeks before a big show.

In the end, as Brady finishes his final year at Gonzaga, he has so much to look back upon, and even more to look forward to. From mastering how to play so beautifully in the very beginning, to spending quality time with his family by practicing and sharing his music, playing in front of large crowds, and winning contests as a young musician, Brady has so much to be proud of. Next year, Brady will be attending Harvard University and looking to major in Film Studies with a joint-major in Music in Film.

Brady is very excited to start his first year of college at Harvard this fall. He is especially looking forward to discovering more in the world of music in film.

“It will be fun because I really enjoy the intersection of film and music, also because I will get to meet student filmmakers and score their films,” Brady said.

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    Carol CorganApr 15, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Wow! I had no idea of Gabe Brady’s talent! And deciding to pick up the bouzouki! And playing with Blues Alley Youth Orchestra and the Count Bassie Big Band. So impressive!

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