Gabrielle Stravelli Celebrates Willie Nelson Tribute CD Release, “Pick up my Pieces”


Gabrielle Stravelli sings Willie Nelson’s “Somebody Pick Up My Pieces” and “Crazy”
Featuring Scott Robinson, sax, Art Hirahara, piano, Pat O’Leary, bass and Eric Halvroson, drums
“Somebody Pick Up My Pieces”, music and lyrics by Willie Nelson

Singer-songwriter Gabrielle Stravelli celebrates the release of her new album, PICK UP MY PIECES: Gabrielle Stravelli SINGS Willie Nelson (self released / April 5, 2019).

She’ll be joined by the band featured on the CD: pianist Joshua Richman; co-producer and pianist Art Hirahara guesting on organ; bassist Pat O’Leary; drummer Eric Halvorson – and an all-star horn section: Jon-Erik Kellso on trumpet, John Allred on trombone, Scott Robinson on tenor sax, Jay Rattman on alto and Jay Brandford on baritone.

The group will play one set starting at 6pm, covering the material from the album, interwoven with colorful stories of Nelson’s singular career and personal life.
Birdland 315 West 44th Street New York, NY Sunday, April 7, 2019 Tickets: $30 Doors 5:00pm / Showtime 6:00pm ONE SHOW ONLY 212-581-2030

During the summer of 2017, when Gabrielle Stravelli told me that she was doing a Willie Nelson show at Birdland that coming September, my reaction was one of great enthusiasm. My reason for being so positive was based on two things; I always considered Willie a country artist who had a lot of jazz influence in his work, and my experience with hearing Gabrielle in the past convinced me that she was capable of doing any genre of material, and effectively bringing her unique vision to whatever she chose to sing.

The show at Birdland was sensational, eliciting a wildly enthusiastic response from the sold-out crowd. I immediately encouraged her to do an album of Willie songs. She agreed, and the album that you are currently listening to is the result of her carefully considering the vast Willie catalog, and choosing the songs that appealed to her artistically and emotionally.

Willie is one of the greatest songwriters in any field. His tunes are wonderfully listenable, but he often takes musical paths that are uniquely individual and often a bit quirky, similar to the approach Thelonious Monk took in the world of jazz. His lyrics are well crafted, and often profound, whether he is in a story-telling mode or singing about life and love.

The career of Willie has extended from the early 1960s right up to the present day, spanning almost six decades. Gabrielle has chosen songs that touch upon the full arc of his career, from early ’60s numbers like “Three Days” and “Blame It on the Times” to a pair of selections from his 2017 album God’s Problem Child, “Lady Luck” and “Butterfly.” She also gives a nod to Willie’s love for songs from the Great American Songbook with the Hoagy Carmichael/Mitchell Parish classic “Stardust.”

As you listen to this collection, you will hear one of the special voices on the current scene. Gabrielle has impressive range, superb control, and flexibility in her timbre that enables her to bring something a bit different to each selection. This is complemented by her imagination and musicality, assets that give her the ability to make each song that she sings sound like it was written with her in mind.

Two selections best demonstrate her creativity. Taking “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” on a bebop ride, and turning “Good Hearted Woman” into a slow ballad sung from the woman’s perspective are stunningly effective reconceptions of the ways that Willie and Waylon approached this material.

The album also benefits greatly from the imaginative arrangements by Pat O’Leary, and the amazing cast of musicians who have brought his vision to life. When given solo space, each of the players rises to the occasion, saying quickly and impressively what is on his mind.

At some point this album will surely gather the attention of Willie. There is no doubt that it will make him smile, and feel satisfied that his music has inspired such a heartfelt and impressive tribute to his genius.

Award-winning vocalist and songwriter Gabrielle Stravelli has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following through her rich sound, original compositions and her unique take on material from the Great American Songbook as well as by contemporary artists as varied as Willie Nelson, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder and John Fogerty. A trained actor, Gabrielle has a soulful sensitivity for the story in the lyric and was called “a powerhouse of individual expression” by David Finkle of The Village Voice. Pick Up My Pieces: Gabrielle Stravelli Sings Willie Nelson – a far reaching exploration of Nelson’s catalog, from his earliest works to his most recent creative efforts – is Stravelli’s fourth album.

Some of her career highlights include (in 2018) a tour of Southeast Asia as a United States Department of State “Jazz Ambassador” and headlining the 2018 WBGO Jazz on the Mountain Festival.

In 2017 Gabrielle was invited to be a master teacher for YoungArts (a national organization that organizes week-long intensives for artists 14-18 years old and connects them with professionals currently working in their chosen field). In April 2017 she was invited by the US Embassy in Azerbaijan to perform at a gala celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations between the US and Azerbaijan and in August of that year she led a quintet on a 10-day tour of Pakistan, celebrating the country’s 70 years of independence with concerts, collaborations with local artists and workshops with students and performers.

2016 saw the release of her third album, DREAM AGO, comprised primarily of original material co-written with bassist Pat O’Leary and lyricist Jason Robinson. The album received a five-star review from DownBeat Magazine and garnered raves from the Huffington Post, LA Jazz Scene, and LA’s Stage and Cinema.

In 2015 Stravelli’s group headlining an international tour sponsored by the US State Department’s American Music Abroad program. Out of hundreds of applicants, the Gabrielle Stravelli Ensemble was one of just 10 bands sent around the world to foster cultural diplomacy through music. The tour took her to Moldova, Azerbaijan, Slovenia and Malta, where her quartet taught workshops and masterclasses during the day and performed concerts at night. Later that year she premiered a new song cycle, Rooms of Light, written by world-renowned jazz pianist Fred Hersch with lyrics by award-winning poet Mary Jo Salter. That project was proceeded by a run of solo shows at Feinstein’s/54 Below which won her second rave review from The New York Times.

In July of 2014 Gabrielle performed a 5-night sold out run of solo shows at New York’s Metropolitan Room which won unanimous raves from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post among other publications. Gabrielle began singing at age 15 as a soloist with the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea in New Jersey and has since performed on stages from Amsterdam to New York,

Gabrielle received the 2015 MAC Award for Best Female Vocalist and the 2015 Bistro Award as a Jazz Vocalist. In 2008 she was awarded the Backstage/Bistro Award for Performer on the Rise (given by critics from Variety, The Village Voice and Backstage) and that same year was named to a list of the top ten cabaret acts by John Hoglund of

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