Gabrielle (Bella) Estrada
started singing in church at the age of 3. Her mother played some guitar and sang, her father played guitar and sang, it seemed only natural that the kids would do it, too.
The youngest of three and the only girl, Bella sang in church every Sunday, and around the house, in the shower; everywhere. Fascinated by harmony, Bella would (sometimes forcibly) gather her brother Chris and two cousins and make them sing songs in 3 and 4 part harmony.
In school she played trumpet in the band. She did not join the choir because she didn't sing like the choir buffs did. So, her oldest brother taught her to play guitar so that she could play and sing along to songs of her choice. However, in the era of Debbie Gibson and Heart, Bella felt like she could never be a singer because she didn't sound like these people!
Then one day, she heard a Texas singer by the name of Janis Joplin and the gloves came off. She loved the rawness, the ache, the aggression, and the passion that was in that woman's voice. Bella was soon recruited to sing for her first band which consisted of her two brothers and a couple of friends. They successfully played reunions, Fourth of July celebrations, and a local bar. Things grew stale and it was time for a change.
After moving to Dallas in 1996, Bella went to an open mic in a local bar and sang a song with the band. There, she met bassist and future bandmate Darla Whisenant. One short lived band later, the two put their heads together to form Ciao Bella.
The band has seen many changes, but continue to move forward with Bella as the lead singer. She also went on to pen the song "Tell Me" which won runner up in the John Lennon songwriting contest. She looks forward to the future with Ciao Bella.
Since 2008 she is now also playing in different set ups, sometimes singing just together with Darla, she has created the Project X - Group, and she sings together with Kathy Corbin, as well as together with Anton Shaw.
Please see http://www.myspace.com/bellaestrada