Gabriel Garzón-Montano Seduces A Sold Out 9:30 Crowd With His Buttery Vocals

Gabriel soulfully singing on the 9:30 Club stage

During these tumultuous times, it can be hard to remember that the United States is known for being a melting pot of culture and language. Walking into the 9:30 Club on October 9th, it was refreshing to see an audience that reflected this truth and more importantly, were proud of their roots. But cultural pride goes hand in hand with representation, a fact that 29 year old Gabriel Garzón-Montano is clearly aware of.

Born and raised in Brooklyn to French-Colombian parents, it was only natural that he was selected as the opening act for DMV native Kali Uchis, a fellow first generation American whose Colombian heritage is woven into every aspect of her art.

Strutting on stage in pink, velvet high heeled booties, Garzón-Montano made it clear that he was not your run of the mill performer. Unlike many acts, he did not jump straight into his setlist. Instead, he confidently made his way to the side of the stage,  waving at fans who were playfully catcalling and whistling at him. 

After about a minute, Garzón-Montano made his way to the center of the stage and began his performance. The crowd was quickly mesmerized with his sensual dancing and buttery vocals. Allowing his music to flow through their bodies, many audience members danced along with Garzón-Montano.

Addressing the crowd in both Spanish, Garzón-Montano chatted with the vocal crowd. Switching to English, he sassily remarked,

“I’ve opened for just about everyone and their momma.”

The audience cheered and shouted back at him in Spanish. This is where you learn that while I too am a first generation American, I speak not a lick of Spanish but am instead fluent in Russian so all I can say is that the shouts sounded supportive.

Continuing his captivating performance, Garzón-Montano moved from  the understated"Everything Is Everything" to the upbeat "Keep On Running", fusing together aspects of funk, soul, rhythm and blues, and indie. With so many influences rampant throughout his performance, it can be difficult to pin down Garzón-Montano sonically. It’s as if Marvin Gaye, Prince, and Radiohead, all cited as his influences, were somehow mashed into one.

Similar to Prince, Garzón-Montano has a flair for the dramatic. As “Fruitflies”, a bouncy yet soothing tune off of his first studio album, Jardín, came to a close, he dramatically leapt off stage.

Murmurs spread throughout the crowd, wondering where he could have gone. His band remained on stage, playing what seemed to be interstitial music. 

After three or four minutes, Garzón-Montano reappeared on stage in black sequined overalls. He had been shirtless prior to this sneaky outfit change, and there was no way he was putting one on now that the audience was whistling and cheering even louder.

Garzón-Montano closed his performance with the sensual “6 8”, which has over 6 million streams on Spotify, no small feat for an artist that writes, records, and produces all of his music himself. It’s evident that Garzón-Montano cultivated a connection with the crowd as the audience enthusiastically cheered at the close of of the song. With his unique fusion of cultures, his rise to stardom is imminent. 

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About the author

Ana Medvedeva

Fueled by iced coffee, Ana is a web developer by day, and avid concert goer by night. With a music taste as varied as her hair color, she loves bringing a performance to life through the power of words. In her spare time, Ana loves to snowboard, hang out with her cat Mimosa, and nerd out about true crime.