Arts and Entertainment

A hometown hero returns to the Island

Max Gabriel will perform at the Blue Heron on Saturday. - Courtesy photo
Max Gabriel will perform at the Blue Heron on Saturday.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Blue Heron will be the site of a homecoming this Saturday, when singer/songwriter Max Gabriel and a full band take the stage for a concert.

What makes the concert special is that Gabriel grew up on the Island — Islanders may remember him as Gabe Judet-Weinshel, a talented Vashon youth who performed as a juggler and unicyclist at Strawberry Festivals, and drew crowds to his performances in Blue Heron youth theater productions.

Gabriel, the son of Island artist Pascale Judet and John Weinshel, moved to New York more than a decade ago, and he’s been honing his craft as a musician and filmmaker ever since.

Gabriel’s Web site, www.maxgabriel.com, provides visitors with a dizzying array of his recent projects, which include a number of music videos, documentaries and short films that have been shown at San Francisco International Film Festival, The American Film Institute, the Nashville Film Festival, on Nickelodeon, Fox, MTV and other venues.

He has won two New York Emmy Awards and directed Martin Scorsese in a short piece that screened at Lincoln Center.

He’s also drawn accolades for his music.

His debut recording, “The Exile of St. Christopher,” was produced by iconic producer/keyboardist Scott Healy, and featured a band full of well-known players and rock music sidemen.

Gabriel and Healy are now working on a new project, which will feature 25 new songs.

Critics have been wowed by the Vashon-bred artist, comparing his voice to Leonard Cohen and David Byrne.

Ian Mathers, a writer for The Village Voice and other New York publications said, “He’ll treat your heartbreak right, with the sense of devastated whimsy all real romantics have.”

Gabriel will perform with a full band on Saturday, and Islander Alex Davis will open the show.

The Max Gabriel concert is at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at the Blue Heron. Tickets, $13 and $15, are on sale at Books by the Way, Blue Heron, Heron’s Nest, brownpapertickets.com, and by calling 463-5131.

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