Singer-Songwriter Night with Steven Gellman & Gabrielle Zwi
Steven Gellman is a quintessential folk singer-songwriter with “insightful original songs and homespun stories [that] provide a soul-warming folk rock respite in a busy, chilly world.” (Donn B. Murphy, The National Theater) His songs tell stories of everyday life wrapped in notes that will have you humming along in a style that Billboard Magazine has described as “intensely sensitive and impressively intelligent at the same time.”
Armed with a dime store guitar and the sheet music to I Love Rock n Roll by Joah Jett, Gellman taught himself how to play guitar with one thought on his mind – he wanted to play in a rock band. But his rock n roll heart came with a “John Denver-ish voice” (Music Monthly) and Gellman soon found his passion for folk music founding the ‘90s folk-rock group Diamond Rose. When the band broke up, as first bands are apt to do, Gellman struck out on his own releasing a solo, full-length album to critical acclaim. Photobook was nominated for 4 awards from The Washington Area Music Association Awards (WAMA) and by The Gay/Lesbian American Music Awards (GLAMA) for Debut Album of the Year. His follow-up release, Return to Summer Lake, was hailed by Billboard Magazine as “essential for fans of sensitive acoustic music.” In 2022, Gellman was a Wammie Award finalist for best folk artist.
Gabrielle Zwi is an up and coming musician in the Washington, DC area who masterfully blends folk-pop with bossa nova in songs about love, identity, and breaking barriers. They are a Brazilian-American dual-citizen and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and they have Autism Spectrum Disorder along with other disabilities that have played an integral role in their creative work. Gabrielle is currently a Human Rights major in their senior year at Columbia University in the City of New York. At Columbia, Gabrielle also studies Jazz Vocal Performance in the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program, through which they receive individual instruction from Christine Correa and participate in the Latin Jazz Ensemble directed by Vince Cherico and Leo Traversa. Before transferring to Columbia University, Gabrielle graduated with their Associate of Arts from Montgomery College, where they studied and conducted research under the guidance of Dawn Avery. Gabrielle released their debut album, “Without a Label” in 2018, and a single titled “Deepest Roots” in 2019, as well as being a featured artist on several other musician’s projects. Among other songwriting awards, Gabrielle most recently won the Silver Award in the Freedom Category of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, for “We Rise,” which was a collaboration with other young songwriters committed to combating climate change. Gabrielle believes that music can change hearts and minds, so they write and sing songs that promote progress and acceptance… whether it’s a song about their experiences as a disabled student, a song directly written about youth-led activism, or a typical-seeming love song that happens to normalize queer relationships. They have performed these songs at educational events and political rallies, such as a rally at the U.S. Department of Education demanding that all public schools provide free menstrual products restrooms, Montgomery College’s Annual Holocaust Commemoration, and a Zero Hour / Fridays for Future rally highlighting the impacts of environmental racism. In addition to their musical mobilization, Gabrielle is a community organizer and educator. In early 2018, Gabrielle founded DC Teens Action, a 501c3 fiscally sponsored organization which helps make activism accessible to students with disabilities, financial need, and other barriers to access. They were appointed to the Human Rights Commission of the City of Rockville at 18 years old, and were just appointed in December 2021 to the Montgomery County Committee Against Hate/Violence. Gabrielle has also worked as a Music Teacher at Beth Chai Sunday School, as a beginners’ ukulele instructor, and as a Camp Counselor at Sitar Arts Center.
Sunday, December 115:00 PM Cafritz Hall