Gabriel Medina Arenas

Gabriel is a journalist who's trying to make jazz more popular for mainstream audiences.

About Me

Gabriel is a Mexican journalist and former radio host who loves jazz, bossa nova, and rock. He earned a master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln). He has worked as a full time reporter for the Mexican national newspaper Excelsior in Mexico City, as well as for El Universal Estados Unidos in San Antonio, Texas. He has also written stories for websites like Fusion (an Univision and ABC News joint venture) and Nebraska Mosaic; as well as magazines like Travel + Leisure, Music:Life and Donde Ir. He has also worked as a radio host and script writer at Horizonte 107.9 FM, the only Mexican radio station dedicated to jazz in Mexico City; as well as at KRNU, 90.3 FM, where he hosted a talk show with interviews about the problems surrounding immigration policies in the U.S. He is very interested in promoting jazz in Mexico and the rest of the world. There are great Mexican jazz musicians, but their work is not so well known around the world, except for some few examples.

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because... I love improvisation, as well as the fusion of different sounds and cultures. I was first exposed to jazz... when I was about 8 years old. My grandfather loves Dave Brubeck, Jean-Luc Ponty and Bossa Nova. Two decades after that, I was lucky enough to listen Dave Brubeck playing live and to shake his hand at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. I met Herbie Hancock some years ago at the Blue Note Club in New York. Besides being a great musician he's a humble and warm man. I have also interviewed and met other jazz men and musicians such as Marcus Miller, Antonio Sánchez,Victor Wooten, Christian McBride, McCoy Tyner, Aretha Franklin, Jamie Cullum, Hector Infanzón, Magos Herrera, etc. The best show I ever attended was... Dave Brubeck at the Montreal Jazz Festival some years ago. It was so good and emotional I couldn't hold the tears. My advice to new listeners... To really understand and enjoy jazz better I would recommend to first listen some Ragtime, then some New Orleans style jazz, then Bebop, Cool Jazz, Modal Jazz, Funk, Bossa Nova, Fusion and finally Contemporary Jazz in that order, so they understand better the history and evolution of jazz. I found very useful to read books like The Jazz Book by Joachim Berendt, it's almost like a jazz bible, specially for beginners in the fascinating world of jazz.

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