Gabriel Garzón-Montano at NPR's Tiny Desk

Gabriel Garzón-Montano at NPR's Tiny Desk

  • June 07, 2017



Bobby Carter from NPR's Tiny Desk series writes: “I was, admittedly, thrown for a loop when Gabriel Garzón-Montano told me that he wanted to perform unaccompanied, just him and a piano. The meticulousness of his work is clear on his debut album, Jardin, a three-year creative process in which Gabriel plays most of the instruments, tracking them to two-inch tape, layering its overall sound. Jardin takes its title as an umbrella; fruits, bugs and other plants are the driving metaphors tying together this dense work, which blooms over successive listens. Garzón-Montano doesn't necessarily wear his heart on his sleeve — he forces you to listen and peel the layers back.”

Garzón-Montano's career trajectory veers wide — living with Philip Glass for a year while his late mother played in the composer's ensemble, sitting under the minimal maestro's piano as he practiced; Lenny Kravitz making possible his first tour experience; while Drake exposed Gabriel's sound to the masses.

That decision to go it alone at the Tiny Desk made sense, though, the moment he started to play; his talent is left elegantly exposed in this unadorned performance. He says his visit to the Tiny Desk "with just piano and vocal reminds me of what is lost when a song is fully produced and arranged — it was an exciting and vulnerable experience. I was nervous for this one."

Here then, are three songs from Jardin, along with the song that introduced Gabriel to the world... laid bare.

Set List:
"My Balloon"
"Long Ears"
"6 8"
"Crawl"

Credits: Gabriel Garzón-Montano (vocals, piano). Producers: Bobby Carter, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Morgan Noelle Smith; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.