Monthly Archives: April 2014

Spotlight on Gina Chavez

Here at HUIZCAHE’s La Capirotada, we’ll occasionally feature a favorite musician or group who embodies in music the spirit of what we’re doing on the page. First up: 2012-13 Austin Music Award Winner Gina Chavez.

From her website: “As one of Austin’s most beloved world music/indie artists, Chavez is known for her impressive multi-instrumental performances and an inimitable sound inspired by cumbia, bossa nova, vintage pop, reggaeton and other genres. With accolades such as the 2012-13 Austin Music Award for Best Latin Traditional Artist/Band (along with placing in three other categories), two tours in Japan as the Official City of Austin Music Ambassador, and praise from National Public Radio‘s All Songs Considered and Alt. Latino as one of eight ‘New Latin Artists at SXSW,’ Chavez has claimed a prominent stake in the Live Music Capital.”

Chavez’s second album, Up.Rooted, was funded by a highly successful Kickstarter project and was released earlier this year. The album seeks “to express the dichotomies of her life as an ethnically mixed American woman trying to define, and embrace, who she is and where she belongs.”  You can stream the new album, including the studio version of “Gotta Get” (featuring another HUIZACHE favorite, Grupo Fantasma), here.

We’re big fans of Gina Chavez here at HUIZACHE, but don’t just take our word for it:

  • Review from the Austin Chronicle: “Enlisting veteran local studio genius Michael Ramos (Patty Griffin; his Charanga Cakewalk) results in a flawlessly bilingual balance between South American, Mexican, and American influences. Each track bristles with authenticity: Folk idols Eliza Gilkyson and Nathan Hamilton lend harmonies on sweeping Latin ballad “Todo Cambia,” the Grupo Fantasma horns electrify “Gotta Get,” and Ramos’ electrifying accordion vies for LP MVP. “Soy Quien Soy” declares her love of South America, and it defines up.rooted: Chavez asked hard questions, put in the miles, and emerged brimming with dynamic self-assurance.” (Four stars.)
  • Review from NPR: “Chavez’s voice reflects the one-of-a-kind meshing of cultures and influences that Austin represents: Whether she sings in English or Spanish, Chavez captures a healthy dose of American soul, country and rock music, and she could hold her own with any Mexican ranchera singer, past or present.”
  • Review from PopMatters: “The result is genre stew that is a perfect representation of what ‘Americana’ really means. In other words, Americana is about more than the US, as it’s really the indigenous roots music of the Americas and it’s multi-ethnic to the bone.”

David Campos Wins Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize

David Campos, whose poetry appeared in HUIZACHE’s third issue, has been named winner of the 2014 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize.

Rhina P. Espaillat, who judged this year’s contest, writes of Campos’ collection:  “But the prize goes to the remarkable Pica, a work whose five parts trace a son’s effort—only partially successful—to fulfill his father’s expectations and—perhaps even more difficult—understand those expectations enough to forgive them.”

You can read one of Campos’ poems, Dusk, right here on our website. And you can follow him on Twitter at @camposwriter.



Interview with Diana Lopez, Managing Editor of HUIZACHE

A fresh interview with Diana Lopez:

It’s a short tree with thorns, and it’s considered a nuisance by farmers. Most people think it’s ugly, so you don’t really see huizaches in the nurseries, which only further proves how undesirable it is—so undesirable, in fact, that it gets pulled out like a weed. No matter. It’s a stubborn tree. It comes back, and it blooms gold.

Read more here.

Laurie Ann Guerrero Named San Antonio’s New Poet Laureate

Congratulations to Laurie Ann Guerrero, who has just been appointed San Antonio’s new Poet Laureate by Mayor Julian Castro. Guerrero, whose collection A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying won the 2012 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, was a featured reader at HUIZACHE’s recent reading in Seattle.

Of her collection, Francisco X. Alarcón writes, “This is the poetry of both saints and sinners (and even murderers). The poet conjures up Pablo Neruda, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sylvia Plath, and is rooted in the best Latin American, Chicano/a, and contemporary American poetics, able to render an effective poetic version of Nepantla, the land where different traditions meet, according to Anzaldúa. These poems make the reader laugh, cry, cringe, lose one’s breath, and almost one’s mind, at times. These poems restore my faith in the power of poetry.”

And congratulations, too, to Carmen Tafolla, who has just completed her busy two-year term as the city’s first Poet Laureate, during which she conducted over one hundred events, ranging from school visits to public performances. Tafolla is the recipient of numerous honors, including two Tomás Rivera Book Awards, two ALA Notable Books, and the the prestigious Américas Book Award. She has been recognized by the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies for work which “gives voice to the peoples and cultures of this land.”

We’re honored to have published them both in HUIZACHE.

For more on San Antonio’s new Poet Laureate, visit: