Violinist Edgar Gabriel performs classical, jazz, rock, blues, Gypsy, Latin fiddle music and more. From an early age Edgar studied and listened to only classical music. He had an ability to improvise and did so in the styles of Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. However, there was no outlet for this art form in 20th Century classical studies so he gravitated toward rock, jazz, fiddle and blues. Once he heard Jean Luc Ponty at age 15 he knew what he wanted to do.
Edgar's versatility has earned him positions with Cirque du Soleil's Mystere and Dralion shows and he has worked with many other world class theater ensembles including Steppenwolf and Chicago Opera Theater. He has played on countless recording sessions including Cd’s for Cheap Trick and the Plain White T’s. Edgar has had the great opportunity to perform onstage with his violin heroes Jean Luc Ponty, Johnny Frigo, Mark O'Connor and Dr. L Subramaniam, He has also performed with iconic songwriters and music superstars such as Robert Plant & Jimmy Page, Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach, Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, The Moody Blues, Mannheim Steamroller, and Dennis DeYoung.
As a classical orchestral player, Edgar has worked under conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, James DePriest, Pierre Boulez and Sir George Solti. He has also toured with Andrea Bocelli. As a young professional, Edgar won positions with The Northwest Indiana Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic and the Elgin Symphony.
Edgar’s innovative performing ensemble StringFusion is currently breaking down musical barriers by combining various genres to create a new violin sound for the future. Edgar is an expert electric violinist and is equally comfortable on his Gary Rickman "Skrull" handmade electric violin or his 19th century Leandro Bisiach Italian violin. His recordings can be heard worldwide on almost every continent (we’re working on Antarctica).
Edgar holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from De Paul University. He is also a member of The Chicago Federation of Musicians, local 10-208; (ASCAP), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; a voting member of the National Academy of /Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS); and ASTA (American String Teacher's Association) and the College Music Society (CMS).
A consummate improviser on the violin, Edgar writes down and arranges ideas that are worthwhile (and some not so worthwhile). Especially adept at writing and arranging music for strings, Edgar constantly explores new ways to present music in new and exciting ways. During the years 1991-1998 while Edgar Gabriel was a founding member of the 3rd Coast String Quartet, he arranged and composed many original works for string quartet. Currently, many of these pieces are now performed regularly throughout the world by string students as part his String Groove publications. Many of Edgar's original songs can also be heard around the globe with his highly innovative jazz ensemble StringFusion. Most recently, violinist Rachel Barton Pine premiered Edgar’s “Theme and Variations for Solo Rock Violin,” which was written especially for her. Edgar also writes and arranges music television and other media. Edgar holds a Masters in Jazz Composition from DePaul University and credits his professor Dr. Cliff Colnot for his great training in arranging and orchestration.
Edgar Gabriel teaches traditional classical violin/viola and jazz, fiddle, rock and improvisation. He has studied with some of the finest violinists in the world including Arnold Brostoff, Joe Golan, Pierre Menard, William Harotonian and Gerardo Ribeiro. His teaching style combines traditional violin pedagogy with his own unique experiences. Mr. Gabriel's String Groove® publications teach improvisation, fiddling and other musical styles outside of traditional violin repertoire. Edgar further shares his this unique string knowledge in String Groove® workshops taught worldwide. Edgar Gabriel has been a faculty member of great music institutions such as the Merit School Music and the Music Institute of Chicago and is currently on the music faculties of William Rainey Harper College and Elmhurst College where his duties range from jazz and classical ensembles, private studio lessons, music history classes and improvisation. A member of ASTA (American String Teachers Association), Edgar has served on the Eclectic Styles Committee, and regularly presents sessions for their national conferences. He was the featured clinician for ESTA (European String Teachers Association) as he presented his String Groove method to over 200 Swedish string teachers at the the 2003 Conference in Gothenburg Sweden.
Edgar performs and records with many local Chicago ensembles such as the Irish band "The Chicago Rovers". Also some well known artists such as Cheap Trick and the Plain White T's. Check out this abbreviated catalog of albums Edgar is on.
Edgar has performed with his violin heroes: Jean Luc Ponty. Dr. L. Subramaniam, Mark O'Connor, Johnny Frigo, Rachel Barton Pine