A member of the Yaqui people of southern Arizona, Gabriel Ayala is at the forefront of a new generation of Native Americans making a career performing classical music. He began playing the guitar as a child. He earned a Master's Degree in Music Performance from the University of Arizona in 1997, has taught at all educational levels from elemetary through college, and serves as a competition adjudicator.
Ayala performs regularly throughout the United States and has appeared at the Kennedy Center for the Arts, National Museum for the American Indian, ASU Keer Cultural Center, and Meyer Theatre in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He has been recognized by the State of Arizona and Governor Janet Napolitano for his musical achievements and has been named a Tucson Citizen of the Month as well as Artist of the Month for the IICOC(Indigenouse Internet Chamber of Commerce).
Ayala travels throughout the US trying to be an Advocate for Education for our youth and living a traditional lifestyle where he lives an Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco free lifestyle to help lead our children in the right direction and show them that they can become whatever they dream.
Ayala is a regular performer a the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, bringing classical music to the Native American Community at one of the largest pow-wows in the country. Ayala also maintains connection to his cultural roots through traditional singing and dancing.
Ayala has released three self-distributed albums. His first, "Gabriel Ayala," was nominated for a Native American Music Award, Best Independent Recording in 2003. In 2007 Ayala released a Christmas CD, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas" and in 2008 "Tango!" which includes many arrangements by Ayala and was nominated for the APCMA(Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards) for “Best Acoustic” and “Best Instrumental” CD. Ayala has recently signed with Record Label Canyon Records which is located in Phoenix, Arizona and released Canyon Records first ever Classical CD by Gabriel Ayala entitled, “Portraits.” Gabriel Currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.