CABARRUS COUNTY, NC — The gift of music is something Gabriel Bello feels blessed to have.
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The Arts and Sciences Council recently awarded nearly $200,000 to more than 120 artists from across the region for 2022
Gabriel Bello was one of the beneficiaries who plans to use his money to build a recording studio in Cabarrus County.
Bello’s plan is to launch his studio and provide it for free to county departments, schools and up-and-coming artists.
“I’ve been singing for as long as I’ve been alive,” he said. “Flute since I was 11, saxophone since I was 13, so I’m a few years away from playing saxophone for 30, which sometimes happens to me like, ‘I should be much better. ‘”
It’s hard to believe that doubt, though, once you hear it play.
Bello’s journey through music has been quite a journey, starting with a cancer diagnosis at age 19.
“I was actually in college for music when I was diagnosed, so I had to drop out of college to start treatment,” he said.
After surviving stage 2 Hodgkins disease, Bello continued to work in the ministry. He then branched out into the music industry where he released an album that went to number one on the Billboard jazz charts.
“My first album that went to number one on Billboard was recorded mostly in a bedroom,” he said.
With decades of musical experience, Bello now intends to build his own music studio in Cabarrus County.
“I don’t know of any legit recording studios in Concord,” he said. “There are about three or four legit studios that people know about in Charlotte.”
He started putting his designs on paper in 2020, and soon the Arts and Sciences Council awarded Bello over $5,000 to lay concrete for his studio.
“It’s because of this grant that I can even get to this point,” he said.
Then, in December 2021, he received an additional $3,000 from the CSA that will help him frame the materials.
“This is a one-time project, and it’s not kind of a one-and-done,” he said. “It’s something that’s going to continue and spill over into our community.”
Bello’s plan is to launch his studios and provide them for free to county departments, schools and up-and-coming artists.
“I try to do this as a ministry and a service to the community,” he said.
Bello is thrilled to share his gift of music with others right here in his community.
Bello hopes to have his studio finished and ready for use by this spring.
You can view the full list of CSA grant recipients by clicking here.