June is Pride Month and all month long we’re spotlighting queer Austin musicians of today and the legends who paved the way.
Gina Chavez was born in 1982 and raised in Austin by parents of Mexican and Swiss-German descent. Though she’d been singing her entire life, she didn’t pick-up a guitar until she was eighteen, inspired by a performance by Austin singer Toni Price at the Continental Club. Chavez crafted her art and songwriting while studying as a journalism major at UT Austin.
Chavez released her debut solo album, Hanging Spoons, in 2007, and in the decade afterward made her indelible imprint on the Austin music scene, garnering a large, passionate fanbase leading up to the release of her debut studio album, Up.Rooted, in 2016. Chavez’s sound has expanded with her career and never-ending dive into her Latin roots. From folk and cumbia to soul and R&B, she’s incorporated more and more Spanish lyrics in her writing as well. Chavez’s queer, biracial background is a cornerstone of her music.
Chavez is also an official U.S. cultural ambassador, and these travels have allowed her to incorporate her experiences into stories and perspectives of women around the world. In addition to her music, she also runs Niñas Arribas, a non-profit that provides education to young women in El Salvador.
The great extent of Chavez’s career success has been matched with over a dozen Austin Music Awards, including Best Female Vocals in 2019 and Musician of the Year in 2015. Chavez was also nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in 2020 for Best Rock/Pop Album and was just re-elected as Vice President of the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Chavez takes the stage at The Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s 4th annual Pride In Local Music block party on June 24th.
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