Dameon Gabriel comes from New Orleans music royalty. His family can trace its music roots all the way back to 1850s New Orleans and the eventual beginnings of jazz. The Gabriels moved to Detroit in the 1940s and they brought that New Orleans-style jazz music with them. Since the move north, generations of Gabriels have worked to preserve their New Orleans roots here in Detroit, maintaining a line of New Orleans-style jazz players that continue to play throughout the city.
Dameon Gabriel is working to cement that musical heritage and its place in Detroit by establishing Gabriel Hall, a bar, restaurant, museum, and music venue
. He's partnered with Ederique Goudia, a Louisiana-born and raised chef who now caters throughout metro Detroit, to ensure an authentically Creole menu.
The bar will offer cocktails famous to New Orleans, like the Hurricane, a rum-based drink popular in that city's French Quarter. Gabriel is curating a wealth of family history into a mini-museum, where visual and audio displays will explore the musical connection between New Orleans and Detroit.
And then there's the music. Gabriel says that while the live entertainment won't always be New Orleans-style music, there will be certain nights of the month that will feature that famous sound. Gabriel himself plays trumpet in the Gabriel Brass Band
. And when the band is offstage, expect Gabriel Hall to play New Orleans-style music throughout the venue, both old and new, from Louis Armstrong to the Rebirth Brass Band.
Gabriel is currently working to confirm a certain building in Woodbridge, one whose owner is already excited by the idea. He hopes to open in the summer of 2015.
"I'm surprised by how many people have already attached themselves to this idea and want to see it happen," says Gabriel. "I'm humbled by all the support."
Gabriel Hall is one of four contestants vying to win the $50,000 grand prize from Hatch Detroit. Voting ends August 20 at 12 p.m. EST. Voting is open to the public and available online.
Source: Dameon Gabriel, co-founder of Gabriel Hall
Writer: MJ Galbraith
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