Argentinean folk singer takes center stage at Miller Plaza
Despite its melting pot sentiments, holding two cultures in tension is difficult in America, and I venture it always will be. But Gina Chavez not only accepted that difficulty but embraced it, and through it created inspired music that blends the music styles of the Americas with grace and brilliance.
Of Mexican and Swiss-German descent, Chavez was raised on Lyle Lovett, Michael Jackson, and Little Richard, and began songwriting at age eighteen. Later, during a college semester, Chavez experienced la chacarera, a style of folk that originated in Argentina. Chavez was inspired by both genres and created her first album, Hanging Spoons, which included “Embrujo,” written in the same la chacarera style.
Hearing folkloric Argentinean music gave Chavez a desire to get closer to her roots, and her album gave her that opportunity. As well as seeing critical and commercial success, the album gave Chavez the opportunity to teach English at a Catholic school in El Salvador. Working in one of the most dangerous suburbs in El Salvador while simultaneously being welcomed with open arms by her students, Chavez was once again inspired to create her second album, appropriately named Up.Rooted.
Up.Rooted is a collection of bilingual songs, blending such genres as cumbia, bossa nova, and vintage pop to create a passionate, memorable album. Up.Rooted has been critically acclaimed by the Boston Globe, NPR, and USA Today. This Friday, Chavez and her six-piece band will grace Miller Plaza with their eclectic presence. Go see them for bragging rights in the near future.