First published on Lauperland.com
April 1st, 2021
By Curtis Newart
Steve Gaboury (Photo credit: Nico Malvaldi)
Steve's Video Greeting
Thanks Steve! Love ya. xx Lauperland
Grammy™ Award-nominated Steve Gaboury
is an American musician, composer, producer, arranger and musical director.
He's worked with Patti Labelle, Ute Lemper, Suzanne Vega, Rufus Wainwright, Ben E. King, Rosanne Cash, Rickie Lee Jones, Jane Siberry and Little Anthony and the Imperials.
Gaboury toured internationally with Cyndi Lauper from 2001 to 2015, and received a Grammy™ Award nomination in 2004 for his work on "Unchained Melody" from her At Last album.
"The At Last album originated at my studio, Livewire Production & Recording," said Gaboury. "Cyndi and I worked out most of the arrangements with just her voice and the piano."
Cyndi Lauper - At Last (2003) © Sony Music Entertainment
"Working with producer Russ Titelman was an absolute joy. His decision to bring in Don Sebesky to contribute and orchestrate our arrangement of 'Unchained Melody' was brilliant."
"Performing it at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with Marvin Hamlisch conducting the National Symphony Orchestra, is a career highlight for me," said Gaboury.
Cyndi Lauper - Unchained Melody ON STAGE AT THE KENNEDY CENTER A Holiday Concert for the Troops with Marvin Hamlisch (2004)
Gaboury, originally from Berkeley, California, studied composition at San Francisco State University, where he played with local jazz and rock ensembles.
He recorded and toured with Country Joe and the Fish, and performed with Hoodoo, an Afro-Haitian band that co-billed concerts with Miles Davis, José Feliciano, and Chick Corea.
Cyndi Gives Steve
Cyndi Lauper - Money Changes Everything - Sound Stage Live at Chicago (2004)
"The bit with Cyndi pushing me down was never rehearsed. It just happened live on stage during one performance, then became a semi-regular part of the tour. As her fans know, no two Cyndi shows are the same. She's wonderfully spontaneous."
The Lauper/Gaboury Connection
After the events of 9/11, Steve and his wife, choreographer Marilyn Klaus, had to vacate their downtown Manhattan apartments. They were staying at a hotel in Soho watching a John Lennon tribute on TV, when Lauper's segment was broadcast from Strawberry Fields in Central Park. She sang "Strawberry Fields Forever".
Gaboury recalled commenting to his wife that "Cyndi's performance uniquely seemed to capture Lennon's spirit".
Three weeks later, he was surprised to receive a call from Lauper's people asking him to join her band. He spent the next 13 years touring and recording with her.
Steve Gaboury and Cyndi Lauper on the Today Show Summer Music Series (08/04/06) (Courtesy S. Gaboury)
Cyndi Lauper and Steve Gaboury (Photo credit: Colin McLeod)
Cyndi Lauper performs She Bop on Altas Horas
"Steve Gaboury once said something to me about band mates," said longtime Lauper collaborator and guitarist William Wittman. "It was that leaving competence or ability aside, there were just people you’d want to be stranded in a lifeboat with and people you wouldn’t want to trust in that circumstance. And being in a band has its moments when being able to be in the lifeboat together really matters."
"Steve is not only one great musician, with an unusual sensitive nature that comes through in his playing, from even the simplest part to the most complex and interesting one, but also unquestionably the ideal lifeboat companion. He’s just the best."
Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun
"At the end of my first year of touring with Cyn in 2002, I wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary," said Gaboury.
"Without letting anybody in the band know, I ran offstage during her a capella encore. Cher's wardrobe people quickly got me into a bathrobe and curlers, then I ran onstage in time to play "Girls Just Want To Have Fun".
Steve Gaboury surprises Cyndi Lauper onstage (Courtesy S. Gaboury)
Cyndi Lauper and Steve Gaboury in 2011 (Photo credit: Colin McLeod)
Scott Weiland & Cyndi Lauper 'Barbarella' on Decades Rock Live!(11/11/05)
"After a 13-hour day of filming Decades Rock Live! in Atlantic City, we drove the bus straight to a Today show shoot in New York City," said Gaboury. "We were doing soundcheck outdoors at around five AM."
Cyndi Lauper on the Today Show (11/12/05)
Gaboury collaborated with Lauper on selections from the score of the Broadway hit musical KINKY BOOTS, which earned 13 Tony™ Award nominations and six wins (including Best Original Score and Best Musical) during its first run in New York City in 2013.
Love Rocks NYC
was held at the Beacon Theatre in New York on March 12, 2020, the same day that Broadway enacted unexpected emergency COVID-19 audience restrictions. Attendance was limited to essential staff.
All performers showed up, including Lauper, Dave Matthews, Joss Stone, Jackson Browne, Macy Gray and The Black Crowes.
Steve Gaboury and Cyndi Lauper at Love Rocks NYC (3/12/20) (Photo credit: Lisa Barbaris)
"It was a very strange and ominous day," said Gaboury. "The musicians were realizing that their Broadway and orchestra seasons or upcoming tours were cancelled, and that this event was possibly the last concert in New York City for a while."
Cyndi Lauper performs True Colors live at Love Rocks NYC at Beacon Theatre (3/12/20)
The next day, Lauper shared on social media: "I want to give a huge shout out to Steve Gaboury for handling my arrangements and conducting the strings. It was absolutely phenomenal and I am truly indebted and in awe of your talent."
Making History at The Great Wall of China
Cyndi Lauper - At Last (live in China)
Gaboury performed with Lauper's band during the historic first international pop concert at the Great Wall of China in 2005, along with Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men.
BBC News reported that "Lauper caused a stir as she descended into the audience, causing a flurry as spectators stood up and police ordered them to sit down again."
Ballets With A Twist
Gaboury retired from Lauper's band in 2015 to focus on Ballets with a Twist, a New York City-based dance company that he created with his wife, Marilyn.
Marilyn Klaus and Steve Gaboury (Photo credit: Karina Ulrich)
Steve Gaboury, Cyndi Lauper and Marilyn Klaus (Photo credit: Jason Russo)
He is the composer and associate director for the troupe's signature production Cocktail Hour: The Show, which brings the Mai Tai, Martini, Manhattan and more to life onstage.
Described as "inventive" by The Wall Street Journal, and "pure pleasure" by BroadwayWorld, the company has been seen at performing arts centers, nightclubs, cabarets, dinner theaters, and festivals throughout the United States.
Cyndi Lauper at True Colors LIVE at XL Cabaret (Photo credit: Darial Sneed)
Cyndi Lauper - True Colors LIVE at XL Cabaret
Ballets with a Twist featuring Cyndi Lauper (Courtesy: Ballets with a Twist)
Ballets with a Twist featuring Cyndi Lauper (Foreground, L to R): Marilyn Klaus, Steve Gaboury and Cyndi Lauper (Photo credit: Darial Sneed)
"Brandy Alexander" from COCKTAIL HOUR: THE SHOW at Cyndi Lauper & Friends: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS 2014 featuring The Rahway High School Marching Band (Courtesy: Ballets with a Twist)
Cocktail The Hour show trailer features music by Steve Gaboury from the ballet "Hot Toddy". (Courtesy: Ballets with a Twist)
HRC 15th Annual National Dinner
Cyndi Lauper sings "Time After Time" at the 2011 Human Rights Campaign Annual National Dinner. The keynote address was delivered by President Barack Obama.
Bring Ya to the Brink
Cyndi Lauper - Set Your Heart
"The Bring Ya to the Brink Tour was challenging, but interesting," said Gaboury. "It's standard procedure for touring artists promoting dance records to perform with backing tracks in which case the artist and band have to glue themselves to that track, leaving no possibility for spontaneous variation, ad libs, etcetera."
"Our drummer Sammy Merendino, helped me come up with a system that I could play all the synthesizer loops and sequences manually in sync while still allowing Cyndi pretty much free reign. It was techno-crazy but extremely rewarding in the end."
The Body Acoustic
Cyndi Lauper - Shine
The compilation album features remakes of some of Lauper's previous hits, with guest appearances by Sarah McLachlan, Jeff Beck, Shaggy, Ani DiFranco, Vivian Green, and Puffy AmiYumi.
Gaboury played piano, organs, a Roland Juno-60 synthesizer and the harmonium.
Cyndi Lauper - Change Of Heart
Nobel Peace Prize Oslo rehearsal
Cyndi Lauper rehearsing with Steve Gaboury on piano, Chris Botti on trumpet and The Norwegian Radio Orchestra. (Video credit: Marilyn Klaus)
The December 11th, 2004 event honored Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the prize.
Romance & Cigarettes
Romance & Cigarettes © United Artists
Gaboury played, recorded and co-arranged (with Lauper) the song "Prisoner of Love" for John Turturro's film Romance & Cigarettes (2005). The film includes a hilarious scene of Lauper's husband David Thornton with James Gandolfini.
Cyndi Lauper - Prisoner of love ft. S. Sarandon, J. Gandolfini, C. Walken & D. Thornton
Today show host Hoda Kotb brought together Lauper and Sara Bareilles to raise funds for the fight against pediatric cancer. The singers did a mash-up of their hits "True Colors" and "Brave" to create a song called "Truly Brave". The music video stars young cancer patients from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Cyndi Lauper and Sara Bareilles - Truly Brave
Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper, Hoda Team Up To Fight Cancer
LA LGBT Center Gala 2020
Cyndi Lauper “True Colors” at the LA LGBT Center Gala
On September 12th, the Los Angeles LGBT Center hosted its first-ever televised telethon, Love in Action, benefiting the Center’s vital programs and services. Lauper's fellow performers included Billy Porter, Sia, Margaret Cho, Melissa Etheridge, k.d. lang, and RuPaul.
"I was the musical director for Yma Sumac 'The Peruvian Nightingale'," said Gaboury.
"During our 1987 multi-week run at The Highline Ballroom we were invited to play on Late Night with David Letterman. I arranged this song (below) for 'The World's Most Dangerous Band' as well as conducted and played with them."
Yma Sumac (with Steve Gaboury) on Late Night with David Letterman
MERV GRIFFIN &
The TONIGHT sHOW
After arriving in New York City, Gaboury toured internationally with Angela Bofill as her musical director, co-writer, and keyboardist. They appeared on The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show. Gaboury arranged and conducted for Doc Severinsen and The Tonight Show Band.
An Evening with Scott Hamilton & Friends
"My father grew up in Edmonton, Alberta," said Gaboury. "As soon as I could walk, he took me to the ice rink for my first skating lesson."
"Ice hockey was a big part of my young life, so it was an interesting merge of ice skating and rock music when Cyndi and the band got to perform at An Evening with Scott Hamilton & Friends. The evening featured some of the greatest skaters in the world, including Dorothy Hamill, Kristi Yamaguchi, Nicole Bobek and Tai Babilonia.
The November 2nd, 2013 event included an ice show followed by a black tie gala to benefit Hamilton’s CARES Initiative which supports cancer research at the Cleveland Clinic.
An Evening with Scott Hamilton & Friends featuring Cyndi Lauper and band performing "I'll Kiss You" (11/02/13)
The Blue Nile
The Blue Nile is a musical group from Glasgow, Scotland whose early music featured heavy synthesizers, electronic instrumentation and percussion.
Gaboury played keyboards for the band during their international tours HATS in 1990 and PEACE AT LAST in 1995.
The Blue Nile - Tinseltown in the Rain (1996)
Gaboury later formed and led his own band, Night Flyte, which was under the management of Bill Graham. The group eventually moved to New York City in 1977.
They returned to California a year later to perform at the Berkeley Jazz Festival, sharing the stage with Oscar Peterson and Herbie Hancock.
Night Flyte at the entrance to Chez Panisse, where they had their first gig. (Clockwise, from Top Left): Roger Squitero, Kim Plainfield, Ilana Morillo, Lincoln Goines, Libby McLaren and Steve Gaboury (Photo credit: Howard Brainen)
Night Flyte “Running” SF State University (1977) (Courtesy S. Gaboury)
Steve Gaboury in 1982 (Photo credit: Steve Satterwhite)
Breakfast cereal: Amaranth Flakes
Next Halloween costume: a voting booth
Birthday wish: to see Paul McCartney perform live
Fave cartoon: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Fave movie: West Side Story
Fave song: "You and I (We Can Conquer the World)" by Stevie Wonder
Celebrity run-in: Joni Mitchell
Celebrity crush: Rita Hayworth
Fragrance: Mr. Marvelous
What do you drive: Acura Hybrid
Pet peeve: subscription software
Room service food: mushroom cheese omelette