Every time I travel, I embark with great intentions of blogging. Well this time I’m really doing it! Every Friday, the Austin Chronicle will publish my tour diary as we journey to five different countries; a journey that begins in less than 3 hours. But before I grab a couple hours of shuteye, here’s the first installment.
Tomorrow is the biggest show we have ever put on and in my state of sleep-deprived excitement, I come to you with two pieces of exciting news!
1. We are almost sold out! There are a few tickets left (very few), BUT even if you can’t join us in person, we are LIVE STREAMING the show! Now I can’t promise the quality of the connection, but I’m hoping it will be enough to experience the magnitude of this show from the comfort of your home!
2. A generous donor has offered us a $1,000 MATCHING GRANT for the Niñas Arriba college fund! If we can raise $1,000 by the end of this weekend, we will have enough funds to ensure all four of our college scholarship recipients — Xiomara, Marta, Vanessa, and Rosmery — can graduate!
Remember that album we made together and released in February? Well, my friends, we made made a slew of Best of 2014 lists, including NPR’s Alt Latino’s Favorite Latin Albums of 2014 and KUTX’s Best Austin Albums of 2014! This year just won’t stop giving and it’s all because of the love that helped to make Up.Rooted a reality. THANK YOU!
It was a relaxing Labor Day. A nice late start followed by free yoga — thank you Austin and Yoga Con Amor — and a caffeine fix at Genuine Joe, our favorite neighborhood hang, when a certain someone looked at her phone and saw that… GANAMOS! We WON the Latin category of the The John Lennon Songwriting Contest! We tried to keep our squeals and hugs to a minimum but we definitely got some stares as we ran outside to begin the jumping up and down. Days later it’s still hard to believe that “Siete-D,” a musical tribute to our experiences in El Salvador and the girls we taught who are now family, has won one of the most important songwriting contests in the U.S.! Even cooler, I just got word that the leading newspaper in El Salvador, La Prensa, wants an interview… que locura!
Stay tuned on that. Mientras tanto, felicidades to all the Session 1 finalists and winners. GANAMOS, SUBE!
Tune in to your local National Public Radio affiliate station this afternoon for the nationally-syndicated show All Things Considered. Why? Because I’ll be on it! I am beyond excited, and extremely humbled, to have not only visited the mothership of public radio — the NPR offices in Washington, D.C. — while touring the East Coast last week, but to have been interviewed by the director of ATC herself, Monika Evstatieva. Tis a Good Friday, indeed…
6th ANNUAL PACHANGA LATINO MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FULL LINEUP FOR CELEBRATION AT FIESTA GARDENS MAY 10 & 11
April 02, 2013 (Austin, TX) – Pachanga Latino Music Festival, the Latin-themed music, cultural arts and food festival, announced today the final music lineup for its 2013 festival. The festival will kick off Friday evening, May 10th and run through Saturday, May 11th at Fiesta Gardens in Austin, Texas.
Additions to the lineup features international, national and local favorites Grupo
Fantasma, Vallejo, Este Vato, Gina Chavez, Como Las Movies, Bang Data, Susan
Torres y Conjunto Clemencia, Selena y Los Burritos, Miranda Gil and Anthropos
“We are so excited about the line-up this year,” said Rich Garza, founder of Pachanga
Latino Music Festival. “The addition of Carla Morrison and Enjambre to this year really brings us up another notch. We love that we can showcase all this music from Mexico, Austin and beyond.”
2013 FINAL LINEUP:
Intocable (Zapata, TX)
3ball MTY (Monterrey, Mexico)
Grupo Fantasma (Austin, TX)
Vallejo (Austin, TX)
Este Vato (Austin, TX)
Los Lobos (Los Angeles, CA)
Celso Piña (Monterrey, Mexico)
Carla Morrison (Tecate, Mexico)
Enjambre (Mexico City, Mexico)
Flaco Jiménez (San Antonio, TX)
Los Master Plus (Guadalajara, Mexico)
Los Rakas (Oakland, CA)
Raul y Mexia (Fresno, CA)
Y La Orkesta (Tucson, AZ)
Sweet & Tender Hooligans (Los Angeles, CA)
Mariachi Mystery Tour (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
Money Chicha (Austin, TX)
Gina Chavez (Austin, TX)
Como Las Movies (Austin, TX)
Bang Data (Oakland, CA)
Susan Torres y Conjunto Clemencia (Austin, TX)
Selena y Los Burritos (Austin, TX)
Miranda Gil (Austin, TX)
Anthropos Musicians Collective (Austin, TX)
(see the complete issue of this edition of gina mail)
The Austin Chronicle SXSW issue came out yesterday and, thanks to your incredible support, we took the Austin Music Awards by storm! Check it out…
If you missed the award show last night, grab a peek and then celebrate the big win with us tomorrow night at Guero’s for our final full band showcase… I in no way expected to win anything at the AMAs, much less to place in four categories! I’m still in shock from last night’s wins and continue to be humbled by your support and honored by your love. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Ah yes, wanna see photos from the event?
In the age of iTunes, Spotify and playlists, it seems silly to fret over things like album titles and song order. But we musicians do. We fret because we care. A lot. After all, who goes to the movie with no title or reads the unnamed book? You probably wouldn’t be too inclined to buy “gina’s new album” or tell your friends about that rando collection of music Gina just made, so… a title!
Since titling my first record was a two-month process of list-making and opinion polls, I was determined not to repeat the madness this go-round. I eased into it, starting with the song titles — good, but none of them weighty enough to carry the album. Diving into the lyrics, I saw some interesting themes bubble to the surface: distance, travel, heartache, connection to the earth (and the loss of it), disparity, crossing borders, longing, discovery.
Everything regarding imaging, packaging and promotion is heavily tied to the album title (i.e. deadlines! stress!), so I lit each theme like incense and took a deep breath, hoping the right fragrance would find me.
On an impulse errand (that I had zero time for) I stopped by the library and found the words “Mexican Enough” staring back at me from the shelf. The author, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, had me laughing to tears with her first book, so I snatched it up and found our stories oddly similar: Latina by nature, gringa by nurture, seeks to uncover and connect with her lost Latin roots. Picking up where I’d left off one morning, I opened the book and couldn’t read past the word uprooted.
1. to pull out by the roots.
2. to displace, as from a home or country; tear away, as from customs or a way of life.
So why the period?
The songs on this album tell about a time of discovery for me, a moving forward: up. They also tell the story of one finding peace in the present, where she’s standing, who she is: rooted. And yet there’s an ever-present restlessness, a need to uncover a past that’s been lost, to find her place among a people whose blood she shares but whose injustices she’s been spared: uprooted. How can something be both up and rooted? The word itself seems torn between two worlds, longing to find its place. And so am I: up.rooted.
And now a visual representation of the title by friend and fan, Lobo Corona…
(not the album artwork)
PS: After finishing the book, I flipped back to the beginning and found this poignant inscription on the dedication page…
Se llevaron nuestros frutos, cortaron nuestras ramas, quemaron nuestro tronco, pero no pudieron arrancar nuestras raices. -Popol Vuh
They stole our fruit, cut our branches, burned our trunk, but they could not unearth our roots. -from the Mayan “Book of the People”
booking (at) ginachavez (dot) com
Ryan (at) PressJunkiePR (dot) com