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Tony Gable


Sunday Night Jazz Showcase

Program #334 (August 29 at 8:00pm)

Percussionist Tony Gable was born in 1951 in San Antonio, Texas. He was an Air Force “brat” whose family moved to Tacoma, where he graduated from Stadium High School, in 1970.

While studying to become an art teacher at Western Washington University, he started designing T-shirts and posters for a band called Funk Experience, which he eventually joined, playing bongo drums and singing. As a musician, he was entirely self-taught.

Gable renamed the band Cold, Bold and Together in Seattle, where in the ’70s it opened for Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & the Gang and other major stars and recorded several singles, including “(Stop) Losing Your Chances” and “Somebody’s Gonna Burn Ya,” both included on the much-heralded Seattle funk-music compilation “Wheedle’s Groove.”

After Kenny G became famous in the early ’80s, he hired Gable to play in his band, which toured all over the world.

While continuing to play music, Gable got a degree in graphic design at Seattle Central College, working first for Boeing then starting Gable Design Group, in 1985. In 2005, when the county’s official namesake was changed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gable’s company designed a new logo based on King’s image.

In 1993, Mr. Gable formed Tony Gable & 206, whose self-titled album became a smooth jazz-radio staple, particularly the tune “Camano Island.” The band recorded a second album, “Summer Hills” and an EP, “Summer ’01,” and appeared on TV on the “The Arsenio Hall Show.”

Tony Gable died on May 12, 2016. Mr. Gable had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for four years, said his wife, Gina. He was 64.

(provided by The Seattle Times)