According to the old idiom, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but some subjects worthy of flattery are not so easily imitated, and in the age of the tribute band, many a giant of the American songbook goes without authentic tribute simply because the original article set the bar a little too high.
Such seems to be the case with Stevie Wonder, the genius of composition and unparalleled vocal and instrumental ability who, throughout his career, has had the backing of some of the most formidable musicians in the industry. When one considers the colossal talent that is Stevie Wonder–the limitless voice and boundless multi-instrumental skill–it’s no mystery as to why there is not one full-fledged Stevie Wonder tribute band working in the American tribute market.
Enter Gabriel Bello and Natural Wonder, the Ultimate Stevie Wonder Experience.
While Stevie Wonder impersonators dot the landscape, backing tracks in hand, Natural Wonder rolls into town with the full band experience complete with a crack rhythm section, full-fledged horn ensemble, and the formidable Gabriel Bello, a #1 Billboard-ranked vocalist, producer and multi-instrumentalist, channeling the energy and artistry that has made Stevie Wonder an icon across decades and genres. Whether it’s the Motown-era hits like “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and “My Cherie Amour,” the fusion-flavored 70’s platters like “Master Blaster” and “Do I Do,” the genius of Songs in the Key of Life, the signature harmonica solo of “Isn’t She Lovely,” or Stevie’s modern masterpieces like “My Love is on Fire,” Gabriel Bello and the industry veterans who comprise Natural Wonder recreate the look, feel, and sound of a Stevie set with all the musicianship necessary to blow audiences away with a seemingly unending barrage of hit songs that span the Stevie Wonder catalog.
Since its inception in 2012, Natural Wonder has wowed audiences in numerous festivals, private/corporate events (for clients including the American Heart Association, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Southeastern Jewelers Association), and large venues across the country including The House of Blues (Orlando and Myrtle Beach), B.B. Kings (New York City), The Fillmore (Charlotte, NC), The Downtown Cabaret (Bridgeport, CT), and Speaking Rock Casino, (El Paso, TX) to name only a few.
Make no mistake: Natural Wonder is the Ultimate Stevie Wonder Experience, an epic endeavor that brings real musicianship, a dynamic stage show, and a deep, studious love of the Stevie Wonder legacy to audiences who know that good, authentic music is “a language we all understand.”
Gabriel’s musical journey began in Lawrence, Massachusetts where Gabriel’s Dominican father, a percussionist, helped form his son’s earliest musical memories. Childhood would later find Gabriel discovering his own musicianship when the family moved to DeLand, Florida where Gabriel sang in church choirs and learned a range of instruments including flute, saxophone, and piano. Outside of church, Gabriel maintained a steady diet of his parents’ musical culture coupled with the pop and jazz icons of the day including Michael Jackson, Grover Washington Jr., Stevie Wonder, Toto, Chuck Mangione, and David Sanborn.
These musical guideposts led Gabriel to study music at Lee University in Tennessee, but a cancer diagnosis, subsequent months of treatment, and an eventual miraculous healing after playing a concert with worship artist Ron Kenoly set Gabriel on a new path to full-time music ministry. Extensive work with churches throughout the Southeast allowed Gabriel to hone his instrumental, vocal, and engineering abilities, skills which would serve him well in his new destination: the Nashville Music scene. During his tenure in Nashville, Gabriel played on and produced a number of sessions for Kings Mountain Records including two No. 1 Billboard singles, Crystal Dove’s “Until You Come Back to Me” and Temar Underwood’s “Inside Out.” His Nashville period also found Gabriel performing and collaborating with a range of artists including Alvin Slaughter, Gary Oliver, Ron Kenoly, Geron Davis, Christ Church Choir, Jentzen Franklin, and Rascal Flatts. Just before leaving Nashville to pursue a solo career, Gabriel was a finalist to be musical director for American Idol winner Carrie Underwood’s first tour and was also approached to be Kellie Pickler’s musical director.
The path of the solo artist has seen Gabriel bring his inconceivable level of talent as a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and engineer to bear on a 2011 self-titled debut that occupied the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Charts for eleven weeks. Additionally, Gabriel’s debut release unseated Michael Buble’ from the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Jazz Charts.
Outside of his solo career, Gabriel’s abilities have made him an in-demand choir and worship leader, earned him a 2012 SESAC Honors Award for album sales and publishing, and found him producing, mixing, mastering, and performing with artists like Pastor James R. Adams and the Abounding Life Church of God in Christ’s on their release “Times of Refreshing” which ranked fourth on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart. His first Christian/Gospel album & second solo release “Miracle”, named after the miraculous birth of his first child Evangeline Grace, saw him sharing the stage with Israel Houghton, Tye Tribbett, Tasha Cobbs & Kierra “Kiki” Sheard.
With a wealth of accomplishments and accolades behind him in fields spanning the music industry and a host of genres, Gabriel Bello, a consummate performer, composer, and producer, continues to venture where his talents and faith take him.
For more information about Gabriel Bello visit gabrielbellomusic.com