Published on: Thursday, December 1, 2016 Takoma Park Newsletter

Five Questions for Gabe Hutter (Mr. Gabe)

“I needed a job, and I wasn’t interested in working in an office,” said Takoma Park resident Gabe Hutter, better known around town as Mr. Gabe, of his motivation for becoming a musician and performer. Hutter has lived in the Long Branch-Sligo neighborhood with his wife Jennifer Ruark since 1997. In 2012, Mr. Gabe released his first CD, Play Date.

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He has performed at libraries, cafés, pre-schools and performing arts centers throughout suburban Maryland, Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia. One of the biggest lessons he’s learned from his audiences is patience. “It’s a lesson I’m still learning,” he said. “It’s easy to get irritated sometimes when grown-ups at my shows act as though I’m not really there or don’t keep an eye on their kids, but it’s never helpful. I also have to remind myself that for the most part, everybody is doing the best they can.”

Mr. Gabe is featured in the third of our series of periodic “quick-question” interviews.

  1. Favorite Place/Activity in Takoma Park: Community Circle Time at the Takoma Park Maryland Library. “It’s maybe the happiest place on earth.”
  2. Best Thing about Living in Takoma Park: Being part of a real community
  3. On My Desk Right Now: An expired laptop and a pile of papers
  4. In My “Spare Time” I Do: A lot of crossword puzzles and watch German soccer
  5. Best Advice I Ever Got (and from whom): Do what you love! This idea was driven home to me in reading a memoir by Marcel Reich-Ranicki, perhaps the most famous postwar German literary critic. In the 1930s, he had to leave Germany to flee from the Nazis and then lived through the Warsaw Ghetto and waited out the end of the war on a small farm in the Polish countryside. He ended up in East Germany after the war and was able to defect to the West in the late 1950s. What impressed me about his story was that he never gave up on his passion for German literature. At nearly every step of his tumultuous journey, when somebody asked him what he wanted to do to earn a living, he always answered: “Something with German literature.”

BONUS: If I had a magic wand for a day, I would go back to a time before cell phones and the Internet just to remind myself what it was like.

For more information about Mr. Gabe, visit

This article appeared in the December 2016 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.