Gabriel Echaurren also known as Gab Zak has taken up residency at The Rocks and will be swooning diners with on the brass in the new Jazz Funk nights at the Mediterranean venue, Tayim every Wednesday nights. Here’s a short Q&A session giving us insight into the man behind the sax.
Expression of the soul:
What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your life as a musician?
I think the sense of freedom that music has been giving me for sure. I feel free now. Before I was everyday asking to myself what was the key to escape from this “Matrix”. I worked as an architect and would busk every night after work.
I love good music, and we can find good music in all the history of humanity. From Chopin to Paquito De Rivera. Inspiration is everywhere.
In terms of sound dynamics / acoustics and the way you can engage with the crowd in the Tayim space, what do you like most about being a resident muso for this space?
One of the things that I most enjoy about TAYIM is the mysticism of the place. It makes me feel like I’m performing inside of a “Game Of Thrones” castle.
The quality [and history] of the place helps us to disconnect from the mundane rhythm of life and timing, and enter into a living poetry of architecture, food and music. The audience responds in different ways.
Some of them like to listen to the music while enjoying their meals, some of them prefer to stay in the bar while they are having some drinks, or some of them just like to sit close to my performance and talk to me about music when I finish a set.
Most of the customers give me their feedback when they are leaving the place, and that is the most interesting thing for me. I really like to listen to what people think about what I’m doing now, and that helps to improve my performance and keep evolving. That is what I like most about being a resident musician in this space.
Is it difficult to perform a set solo, for example with Jazz, you can bounce off the cues with others in a group.
I think the “solo-performance” has something interesting in the fact that you need to resolve everything in the right moment… by yourself. My big dream (and goal) was always to find a way to mix everything in the same moment, and that is what I have been trying to do.
The most beautiful part of this is the freedom that you can find in the creative process, and then use all of this to create the instrument lines directly on the live performances. So in one moment I can play Saxophone, then jump on the Keyboard, then singing. Then maybe I will bring a new strange instrument from one of my trips and include it in one of my improvisations. Let’s see what happens!
It’s hard to categorise your style as your sounds dabbles into so many different genres from pop to jazz and everything in between.
I would describe it as a kind of “Urban Experimental” sound. I get asked alot about my “different” way I do my solos over the jazz lines. For me, it’s just my natural way to feel the music without a technical knowledge. In the beginning, Jazz evolved from a group of guys having fun with European Orchestral Instruments in New Orleans, creating their own way to make music without access to the occidental music theories.
They were rebels of their time and they were finding a way to express themselves with total freedom, without asking anyone how to do it. Just doing it. I think in times when everything is automatic and controlled by computers, my approach reconciles or recovers a bit of humanity in ourselves and let the mind be free between old sound samples, real instruments, synthes and beats, and just do it.
Do you have memorable performances?
I have been in so many beautiful moments sharing good energy with beautiful people. I think something that I will never forget is what happened when I was just starting my busking shows in Santiago, in 2016. I was playing “After The Love Has Gone” form Earth Wind & Fire outside “Baquedano” Station. An old man stopped and started to watch my performance with a lot of attention. Then I finished the song with the saxophone. He came over to talk with me and he just hugged me crying. He told me that song was one of the favorites of his Son, and he was died the last year. Then we talked about music and then he just left. I think that situation made me realize that busking was not just play music on the street. Is about to put a little bit of soul in a place where nobody looks each other anymore.
How can people keep up with your work and find out where your gigs are?
For now, the easiest way is to find me on Instagram: GAB.ZAK. I’m uploading all the news there and showing part of my work.
Tayim recently launched a new menu which includes additions like Braised octopus served on a bed of chickpea pancake and chraime sauce, Grilled Yamba Prawns with house-smoked lamb bacon, chilli, harissa and white butter sauce, and Dark chocolate coconut malabi with peanuts, berries and pomegranate syrup – dinner at Tayim has never been better.
WHAT: Jazz n’ Funk
WHERE: Tayim, 12 Nurses Walk, The Rocks Sydney
WHEN: Wednesday nights weekly from 6.30pm=8.30pm
New to Middle Eastern restaurant Tayim are Jazz n’ Funk Wednesdays! Weekly between 6:30pm – 8:30pm dinner will be accompanied by the soulful, old school and experimental music of saxophonist Gabriel Echaurren a.k.a Gab Zak.
In other news: