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God opens doors for saxophonist

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Gianluca Gibbons grew up as a pastor's son, but has learned to make his faith his own and is thriving in his music career in LA. (Photo supplied)

If you think your Christian faith might hold you back from a successful career in entertainment, think again.

Saxophonist Gianluca Gibbons said God has opened more doors for him in Los Angeles than he ever thought possible.

“I’ve been able to accomplish more than I could have ever imagined in my four-and-a-half years here in California,” the 24-year-old said. “Since last September alone I have played about six shows in Hollywood, collaborated with multiple talented industry artists and had a meeting at a local recording company.

“The most recent door God opened was this past week. Theo Wanne Mouthpieces decided they wanted to endorse me. The company represents some of the best saxophone players in the industry, including Marcus Anderson and Adrian Crutchfield, both of whom have toured with Prince and living jazz legend Gerald Albright. The opportunity really is a dream come true.”

Mr Gibbons is the son of Hamilton Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Dr Sydney Gibbons.

He learned to trust and depend on God before he was six years old. At the time he was living in Cameroon, Africa, where his parents worked as missionaries.

“When I was seven years old I remember I had a determination to get baptised,” he said.

“By this time I had preached in church a number of times, had a love for praying and, regardless of my young age, knew I had a solid relationship with God. My parents saw my determination and put me through Bible studies and soon after I got baptised by my father at my home church in Bermuda.”

As a teenager, Mr Gibbons said his focus on his faith started to fluctuate. Like many other adolescents he became more interested in what was “trending around [him]”. He also noticed that by his first year in university nothing had taken off with his music.

It was then he decided to make a change.

He attended a church service where he was supposed to play his saxophone, however, he arrived too late to perform.

Instead he got to listen to a message delivered by DeVon Franklin, the former senior vice president of production at Columbia Pictures.

Mr Franklin shared how he had avoided God’s calling on his life and how his opportunities were being passed onto others who “were less qualified, but willing”. He eventually accepted the calling that God placed on his life and his true potential was unleashed.

“Everything Mr Franklin said that day felt as if it was directed towards me, as if he knew everything I was struggling with,” Mr Gibbons said. “I rarely show public emotion but during the appeal my whole body began to tremble. I tried to fight it, but I couldn’t. I burst into tears because I knew that I had been dodging God and trying to do it all my way.

“From that day forward I vowed that everything I did would be dedicated to God. I would not compromise no matter what the offer was.”

It turned out to be the best decision he ever made. It’s also changed how he relates to his own music.

These days his music is more than just sounds and rhythm, every song has a spiritual component. “I want my audience to feel the music on a deep level,” he said. “It needs to be an experience, rather than just entertaining.

“I don’t want to just entertain, but rather teleport people to a higher and better place. With God in the picture I can affect people on this deeper level.”

Mr Gibbons admits there are some challenges that come with being a Christian entertainer.

“I have had to turn down many Friday night and Saturday gigs because they fell on the Sabbath,” he said.

“Recently in just the space of one week I had to turn down two major opportunities because they fell on a Friday night. One being a position I auditioned for, where I passed the audition, but had to decline the role because I found out it was on Friday nights.

“In that same week an employer told me that if I wasn’t going to do Friday night gigs I might as well quit being a musician.”

But thankfully God had the final say in that situation. The very next week he booked a gig with his gospel/jazz fusion band HTG at the House of Blues in Hollywood.

The hot spot booked them four more times and they were also able to perform at well-known nightclub, The Viper Room.

“All these late opportunities have been far greater than the Friday night gigs I had turned down initially,” Mr Gibbons said.

He now views these obstacles as new opportunities to prove his faith.

“God put this love of music inside of me; He implanted this burning desire for success in me,” Mr Gibbons added.

“I admit I have to work hard to keep up, but that’s only because He is constantly putting new opportunities before me and I refuse to leave any stones unturned.

“Every time He opens a door it’s a confirmation that He has put this calling on my life. And in a matter of four years my band HTG has gone from playing in school talent shows to doing shows in prestigious venues in Hollywood. “You can’t tell me that this wasn’t the work of God.”

Visit www.gianlucagibbons.com; www.htgmusic.com

Gianluca Gibbons grew up as a pastor's son, but has learned to make his faith his own and is thriving in his music career in LA. (Photo supplied)
Saxophonist Gianluca Gibbons is pictured here with his band HTG (Heritage). They went from playing at small school shows to playing at some of California's best clubs in four years. Mr Gibbons credits their success to his faith in God.