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Gina Chavez

Saturday, August 24 · view days & times
Venue: Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks

FREE

In an industry that looks to define artists, Gina Chávez refuses to fit into a box. From features on NPR’s Tiny Desk to Brené Brown to Colbert, this queer, bilingual, genrebending musician has become a force to be reckoned with. Chávez — a truly independent recording artist — saw the fruits of her labor pay off last year where she was not only nominated for a Latin Grammy but was tapped to open the Latin Grammy premiere show. Now, the Texas native can be seen everywhere as one of the faces of LifeWTR’s #LifeUnseen campaign — with her own bottle and a commercial airing nationwide. There’s no way around it: Gina CChávez won’t be ignored.

Only the second Austinite and the third Latina born in the continental U.S. to receive a Latin Grammy nomination in the history of the awards, it has been thrilling for Gina to push boundaries and break barriers without the support of a label. And for this year’s Pride Month, she’s continuing to do just that. In the midst of her own creative rebirth, she’s coming out with a fist pumping club remix of her 2020 feminist anthem “She Persisted,” a rallying cry born out of the moment that Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor of the Senate by Mitch McConnell in 2016.

Gina finds herself trying to make space for levity in a year marred with recordshattering attacks on LGBTQ rights in statehouses across the U.S. Her native Texas leads the way in anti-LGBTQ bills, most of them attacking trans youth. “The socalled pro-life party is literally trying to erase us,” she says, “but we aren’t going anywhere. We’re getting louder and gayer and I’ve got just the song to keep us going!”

The “She Persisted Remix” is a pulsating, club-ready banger bursting with glittery synths and an equally vibrant video featuring drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. With an all-female, queer, bipoc cast and crew, Gina teamed up with Season 12’s Rock M Sakura, Season 8 and Season 9’s Cynthia Lee Fontaine and Season 2’s Kylie Sonique Love, the first contestant from "Drag Race" to come out as transgender who also returns this year for RuPaul’s “All Stars 6.”

“I remember when I came out to my parents, I promised them I wouldn’t be marching in gay pride parades or anything,” Gina laughs. “Well, let’s just say I’ve landed queerly in the gay zone and I’m loving it! As a straight-passing lesbian and a white-passing Latina, it took me awhile to understand that the rights I enjoy are thanks to trans women of color and drag queens who were on the front lines of gay rights before there ever was a movement. Rock, Kylie and Cynthia are true queens in every sense of the word and I am so proud of what we made together for our beautiful LGBTQIA+ community.”

Gina’s music is deeply personal and unfiltered, filled with unwavering candor, including personal details about her wife Jodi, their journey as Catholic Latinas who met at the University of Texas Catholic center, their 15-year relationship and mission work in El Salvador where they founded Ninas Arriba, a college fund for young women in Central America.

Gina has harnessed her power to make space for those who can’t be defined. From her identity as a half-Mexican, half-Swiss German, Catholic lesbian, to her music, which she sings in both English and Spanish, the Latinx pop-rock artist is unapologetically herself — and wants that for others. Someone has to open the door, and Gina is doing just that.

As a part of LIFEWTR’s #LifeUnseen, a campaign to champion and fight for fair representation in the arts, Gina is one of 20 artists being given a platform to showcase their work and voices. It’s another opportunity for Gina to blow open the door for other creators. For the campaign, she invited queer Latinx artist and activist Broobs to bring her bottle artwork to life; a bottle that is now available in stores everywhere. Then she collaborated with electro-cumbia king Camilo Lara (aka: Mexican Institute of Sound) to create the bombastic bilingual track “Pitaya Roja,” which celebrates her “self-awakening to the power of being a woman.” And Gina’s not stopping there. Through LifeUnseen, she found the work of Allie Cuerdo, an award-winning Filipino/Chinese filmmaker whose own LIFEWTR bottle features the trans flag. Gina flew Allie to Austin to direct the music video for “She Persisted (Remix).”

“This campaign is truly inspiring,” Gina said. “LIFEWTR is putting their money and influence to work for artists who have been long overlooked. Not only do I feel seen, but they have opened my eyes to creators like Allie who are out there breaking down barriers and making our world a more beautiful place. It’s not just a campaign, it’s a community.”

During the past few years, Gina’s accomplishments have solidified her place as an industry powerhouse. In addition to being a 12-time Austin Music Award winner—including 2015 Musician of the Year and 2019 Best Female Vocals—as well as receiving a 2020 Latin Grammy nomination for her first all-Spanish EP La Que Manda, Gina has more than padded her resume in the past few years. She was a featured performer at the 2020 Latin Grammys premiere show, has an hour-long PBS special, was a 2020 NPR Tiny Desk judge with a Tiny Desk concert of her own (which has garnered more than 1.3 million views), performed on the Colbert Late Show Play At Home Series and was a featured musician at the Texas Women’s Conference. But Gina’s presence has transcended music. As a Cultural Ambassador with the U.S. State Dept, she embarked on a 12-country tour throughout Latin America, the Middle East and Central Asia. She is also a prolific voice featured on Brené Brown’s “Unlocking Us” podcast, for which she also co-wrote the theme music, and became the sole subject of a 12-foot mural in East Austin.

For Gina, her creativity knows no bounds. And as the singer-songwriter hits her stride, it’s fair to say that she is unstoppable: “I feel like I'm in a moment where I’m continuing to come into my own power, especially as a woman, and really understanding what that means in a world that tells women to be small.” And Gina is anything but.

Schedule
Venue Information
Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks
645 E. First Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
610-332-1300
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