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Gavin Turek at Bootleg Theater | Photo by Derrick K. Lee

The past 18 months have been quite fruitful for Gavin Turek. With backing vocal credits on the first three songs of Tuxedo’s debut album (the collaborative venture between Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One) that was released in March 2015,  to her own collaborative album with Tokimonsta titled “Your’re Invited” that  was released August 2015, to being a surprise guest for several Coachella 2016 performers (Tokimonsta and Miami Horror), to being a critical darling on the venerable radio station NPR, Ms. Turek’s star seems to be shining brighter by the day.

I personally witnessed Gavin’s potential when she performed an afternoon set on the main stage of Echo Park Rising in 2014. Her stage presence was infectious, and those in the audience were clearly in awe as she danced up a storm performing her booty shaking numbers. When I noticed that Gavin was to have a month long residency at the Bootleg Theater every Monday in May, I decided that it was about time to reacquaint myself with her music.

Gavin Turek @ BootlegAfter opening sets by Dede and Monogem, the packed room began to buzz with excitement. Gavin’s band took the stage, the lights dimmed, and as soon as the pulsing drums for Surrender began to play, the petite Ms. Turek took the stage with a presence that was ten times her stature.

Watching her perform her music with a live band was a revelation. I’ve enjoyed listening to her music on Soundcloud, but there’s really nothing that compares to watching, and listening to, an artist like Gavin bring those recordings to life on stage. In my opinion, Gavin’s performance gave her music an added presence that isn’t captured in her recordings. The way Gavin was in perpetual motion, moving her body to every single beat of the music, belting out lyrics as she searched for breath, gave her music, which was already spirited to being with, another facet of life.

The audience was clearly receiving Ms. Turek’s energy. She may have asked her fans to groove to the music a couple of times, but I’m fairly certain that they would have been dancing with her even without her encouragement. That’s how irresistible she is when she’s performing; she the panacea for those looking to feel good and let loose.

Her performance also provided the audience with a handful of surprises. Gavin asked SoCal recording artist Jarell Perry to join her on stage for an empassioned performance of HemisphereThe chemistry they shared on stage was palpable, and I certainly wouldn’t mind for the two of them to work on a future project. But perhaps my favorite moment of evening was the very last song.

In light of Prince’s recent passing, Gavin decided to pay tribute to Prince by finishing her set with a cover of one of his songs. To my delight, she invited Amber Coffman (guitars and vocals for Dirty Projectors) to join her on stage to sing a stripped down, sensual version of  I Feel For You. Their harmonies were pure magic and I’ll admit that I am kicking myself for taking hardly any pictures of them performing (I spent most of the song taping it on my cell phone … smdh).

Gavin Turek wraps up her May residency at the Bootleg Theater on Monday the 23rd. Who knows what special surprises she’ll have in store for her fans, but I’ll guarantee you this; It will be worth it … I mean, it’s a free show people! I know it’s a Monday, but if you haven’t seen her perform live yet, Monday will be as good as anytime to do it.

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