HomeGabriel Arguello finds artistry in beatboxing

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As the announcements were being made at the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce “Good Morning, Riverside” event Aug. 8, a young girl’s voice suddenly filled the Music Room of the Mission Inn with song. Puzzled members of the early-rising crowd looked at each other, wondering what was going on. A young man’s voice joined in, creating a rich, two-part harmony with the girl.

It was only when 29-year-old Gabriel Arguello, of Rancho Cucamonga, took the microphone from the seemingly stunned speaker and began laying down a jaw-dropping line of beatboxing that the crowd understood. A pre-arranged flash mob promoting the Riverside Arts Council’s upcoming fundraiser, the Mayor’s Celebration for Arts and Innovation, was taking place.

Beatboxing, in its simplest form, is vocal percussion. It can be described as making drum sounds with the mouth. However, it has evolved into much more than that.

“The range of sounds the human mouth can make is virtually limitless,” says Arguello, who began performing while in elementary school. “Modern beatboxers are now able make a multitude of sounds simultaneously, including vocals, to create complete songs in numerous genres of music. Sounds used in beatboxing today range from brass wind instruments, to guitar sounds, to DJ record scratching, all the way to synthesized electronic instruments.”

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