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Life and style with Gabriel Mark Hasselbach

Jazz musician, animal lover and social activist

- Words and photgraphy by Lia Crowe

“Balance and patience,” Gabriel says when I ask what his best life lesson has been.

Born in Denver, Colorado, Gabriel started playing music at the age of eight, and when he made an album with the school concert band that year, the die was cast.

“At 12, I was listening to late-night jazz from east coast cities via AM radio waves bounced off the ionosphere to the Mile High City. I started paying gigs at 14 and did battle-of-the-band contests with a jazz combo going up against rock bands. I won some classical trumpet competitions around then, too. I started touring after high school.”

Asked what fires him up the most in his work, he says, “I do love the feedback of an audience, and improvisation—composing solos on the fly—is my sweet spot.”

But when it comes to his recipe for success, Gabriel leans into smart planning rather than “on the fly.”

“I’m thorough in planning and complete what I start. The devil is in the details and if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Success requires risk taking and confidence.”

Outside of the limelight, Gabriel loves his two dogs and his wife Sylvia, as well as her cooking: “It’s like having an in-house restaurant-level chef.”

He describes his personal style as “left of centre” and adds a few of his unique choices in life, like “vintage cars, vintage trumpets, intentionally bold or nuanced shirts, jackets and shoes. A mix of retro and ultra-modern in spirit. My cherry 1999 Beemer is in the folder.”

But all in all, good style to Gabriel is, “In clothes: a pleasing (or shocking, as it may be) interaction between colours and textures. In music: a pleasing (or shocking, as it may be) interaction between melody, harmony and groove.”

Style Inspirations & Life

Favourite artist: Gustav Klimt.

Favourite fashion designer or brand: Desigual, Giovanni Testi, TailorByrd, Robert Graham.

Favourite musician: Me.

Era of time that inspires your style: Mid-century modern.

Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: The Best Man: The Final Chapters.

Favourite local restaurant: Admiral Pub & Grill.

Favourite cocktail or wine: Negroni.

Album on current rotation: Michael Broening.

Favourite city to visit: Lisbon, Portugal.

Favourite hotel: Wedgewood Hotel & Spa.

Favourite app: Amazon.

Favourite place in the whole world: Home in Burnaby, BC.


Uniform: I lean to black.

Favourite denim, brand and cut: Black slim cut.

Current go-to clothing item: I lean to black with a cool jacket.

Favourite pair of shoes: Robert Graham, Calvin Klein.

Best new purchase: Johnston & Murphy leather sport coat.

Accessory you spend the most money on: Shirts.

Favourite work tool: Computer.

Sunglasses: Maui Jim.

Scent: Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men.

Necessary indulgence: Hair tips colour.

Favourite skincare product: Trader Joe’s Enrich SPF moisturizer.

Favourite hair product: Got2B (powder), Kenra (mousse).

Reading Material

What do you read online for style: Esquire.

Fave print magazine: New Yorker, Esquire and TIME.

Coffee table book/photography book: Ansel Adams.

Last great read: Living While Human by Arwinder Kaur.

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication
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About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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