Gabriel Ayala is a member of the Yaqui Tribe of Southern Arizona. He recently won a Nammy Award from the Native American Music Association for Artist of the Year. Gabriel also holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Arizona. His road to success was an outcome of Gabriel’s perseverance.
One of Gabriel’s first instructors told him that playing classical guitar music would be too difficult for him, but that didn’t stop him from pursuing his dream. Gabriel would go on to break Native American stereotypes and the glass ceiling for himself, as well as classical Native American guitarists. Gabriel feels that Native American musicians should be categorized outside of the Native American genre. He hopes to one day enter his music into the World Music category and be nominated for an American Music Award or a Grammy. Currently, he is independently recording and promoting his upcoming album.
At the 65th Annual Navajo Nation Fair, Gabriel Ayala was the Arena Director. Recently, Production Assistant Tobias Grant (Omaha/ Sisseton/Dineh/Cherokee) talked with Gabriel Ayala about his music, his passion for teaching and his future endeavors. For more information, visit Gabriel’s website and connect with him on Facebook and MySpace.