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.”

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