Gaby Warren's affair with jazz started in 1949 on his 13th birthday when he was given a 10-inch Dixieland LP. In the early 1950s he began his transition from Dixieland to modern jazz. Growing up in Toronto, he had the good fortune to attend Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie's legendary Jazz At Massey Hall concert.
His knowledge of jazz was facilitated by his 40-year career in international relations. His first posting as a Canadian diplomat was to the Canadian Embassy in Havana just after the 1962 Missiles Crisis. At that time jazz was a semi-subversive subject. Gaby held open-houses so that Cuban musicians could hear the latest recordings of John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Bill Evans, Andrew Hill and other innovative artists. His friendship with Chucho Valdés and Paquito D'Rivera dates from those days. Gaby's passion for Afro-Cuban music is captured in his 3-part Cuban Fantasy (tracks 3, 4, 5). After Havana, he had postings in Rome and Geneva and spent long periods at UN conferences and meetings in New York, Geneva and other cities of the world. Wherever he went he pursued his passion for jazz.
Ottawa has been Gaby's home city since 1962. In the 1980s he became active in the organization of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. In 2005 the Festival awarded Gaby its Award of Distinction for his contributions to jazz in the Ottawa region.
As he contemplated retirement, he wanted to extract a dividend from his years of commitment to jazz. He decided to become an improvising jazz vocalist. He has been pursuing this for the last 16 years and has been studying music theory and writing original tunes (with lyrics) for about 8 years.
In Reflections of a Jazz Fanatic, Gaby Warren documents the various aspects of jazz about which he remains passionate after 64 years as a jazz fan-atic.
Gaby is accompanied by the following widely-acclaimed musicians:
Kirk MacDonald (tenor & soprano sax)
Nancy Walker (piano)
John Geggie (bass)
Nick Fraser (drums)