Gabe Salazar is the brand-spanking new artistic director of the popular Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida. But you’ll never guess what Salazar shares in common with another musician, none other than maestro Beethoven himself.
What’s your claim-to-fame?
I’m the artistic director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida [a.k.a., the GMCSF].
Where did you grow up?
What do you miss about the Houston area?
My family, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and good barbeque.
What’s your favorite gay bar in Houston?
I came out in my late 20s. I moved away from home at 18, so I haven’t been to any gay bars there.
How long have you lived in South Florida?
For two years.
Why did you move here?
I moved here to be with my fiancé, David.
What part of South Florida do you live in?
In Lighthouse Point.
What do you like most about living here?
The more relaxed pace of life and being close to the ocean.
Where do you hang out in South Florida?
If I’m not working, then I love having pool days at the house or hanging at the beach.
What’s your favorite restaurant in South Florida?
Currently, I love a good steak from The Capital Grille.
If you had to live somewhere else other than here, where would you live?
In Puerto Vallarta. I love it there, and I’d love to immerse myself there so I could become a better Spanish speaker.
Which one of your old jobs least prepared you for what you do now?
I worked with my dad at his printing company when I was in high school. It was a tedious and boring job that didn’t prepare me musically. But although it wasn’t a musical job, it taught me to have a great work ethic!
What did you do to keep yourself busy during the quarantine?
I Binge-watched way too much Netflix and drank too much wine. To balance it out, I spent my mornings volunteering at a local food bank, Boca Helping Hands.
How long have you been the artistic director of GMCSF?
I started my position on July 1, 2021.
Who’s your favorite composer?
There are soooo many… I’ve been listening to my old recording of the Requiem by Verdi with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, so I’ll say that Verdi is my current favorite.
What’s your favorite symphonic work?
Symphony No. 9 by Mahler.
What’s the most nerve-wracking thing that ever happened to you when you were conducting?
I was making my conducting debut at Carnegie Hall, and I stepped onto the podium to see that four pages from the first piece of music were missing. I just had to trust my memory, and luckily, I didn’t make any major mistakes.
Who’s your dream celebrity headliner for the chorus?
Cynthia Erivo. She’s such an advocate and ally for our community, and I love all the work that she does to promote equality and inclusion. Not to mention… that voice!
Will you ever retire?
I don’t ever see myself retiring from music. It’s what keeps me going, so I’ll always be involved with it in some capacity.
What’s the weirdest question that a “fan” has asked you?
If I would sing an outgoing message for their voicemail.
What celebrity did you act like a “fan” around?
What’s the last thing that you looked at online?
Flight options for an upcoming trip to Los Angeles.
Would you ever pose nude?
Did you ever try LSD?
What’s the best place that you’ve ever visited?
I spent five summers in Rwanda. It’s one of the most beautiful places ever. Besides the beautiful scenery, the people and the culture are incredible.
What are you an expert at?
If God were to take you tomorrow, how would you like to be remembered?
As someone that loved and cared for all people. I’d love to be remembered as a great father and friend.
What do you want to live long enough to see?
If vampirism was real and you could live forever, would you do it?
What’s the last thing that you watched on TV?
What’s the craziest thing that you ever did?
I Packed a bag and flew to Spain with less than two-hours’ notice.
What’s your favorite book?
To Kill a Mockingbird.
What’s the best concert that you ever went to?
Beyoncé—she’s my queen!
Do you still have your childhood blanket or stuffed animal?
What’s something that you learned in life only when you got older?
I wish I would have lived my earlier years not caring what people thought about me.
What did you learn from your parents?
To always work hard and to be kind to others always.
What’s your best characteristic?
I’m a very loyal friend, and I feel like I’m someone that people can always count on—or at least I try to be.
How do you enjoy spending your time?
With my fiancé, my son, my friends, and my family. I also love to travel, and I hope that I can do more of that in the future.
What celebrity do you have crush on?
Who’s your favorite performer?
Currently, Cynthia Erivo.
Who do you admire?
So many people, but lately my eight-year-old son has been on the top of my list. He teaches me so much. He has the most positive outlook on life, and he has the biggest heart for others. I try to live my life with that same outlook.
Where would you go in a time machine?
I’d love to see where I am in 30 years.
What would your last meal be?
What are you afraid of?
If you were a musical instrument, what would you be?
Are you more like a sheep or a wolf?
I would like to say a wolf.
Who depends on you?
My loved ones and my family do. And now I have a big family of over a hundred guys that will depend on me to be their leader and to take the GMCSF to the next level.
Who are you closest with?
I’m very close to my brothers and my family. I also have an amazing inner circle of people in my life who are my rock.
What would your autobiography be called?
You Are Never Gonna Believe This.
What’s on your bucket list?
I really want to go to Turks and Caicos and stay in one of those bungalows over the ocean.
What’s your greatest regret in life?
I have no regrets.
What’s something secretive about you that people don’t know?
That I’m almost completely deaf in my left ear.
Where can we see you?
Performing with the GMCSF around the community!