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When Gina Chavez chose Up.Rooted as the title of her new album, she found the one word that could reflect not only major turning points in her journey, but the experiences of people who live in her songs. Chavez uses this second album 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.
Released February 2014, Up.Rooted was first aired on National Public Radio’s First Listen series, noting that her “voice stops you in your tracks the first time you hear it.” The Austin Chronicle gave the album a rare four-star review and The Boston Globe hailed Up.Rooted “as confident as it is refreshing.”
Produced by Michael Ramos, known for his work with Patty Griffin, John Mellencamp and the BoDeans, Up.Rooted is a garden of delights on which Chavez delves into cumbia, bossa nova, vintage pop, reggaeton and other genres. Her wide-ranging vocals convey delicate beauty and sharp social commentary with equal nuance, giving the album a dynamic balance between dramatic tension and relaxed grace.
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 various Latin rhythms and styles. At this year’s SXSW, she took home three 2013-14 Austin Music Awards, including Best Female Vocals, Best Latin Traditional and Best Latin Rock, while placing in six other categories. This followed a 2012-13 Austin Music Award for Best Latin Traditional artist, two tours in Japan as the Official City of Austin Music Ambassador, and praise from NPR’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. She is back from eight months of mission work in El Salvador and established Niña Arriba a college scholarship fund for girls she lived with in a gang-dominated part of San Salvador. Southern Living and Olay named Chavez one of 11 “southern iconic women who have left a beautiful footprint across the South.”
Chavez showcased Up.Rooted at a sold-out hometown record release party and fundraiser on February 15, 2014, at The Stateside Theater in Austin, TX. The event raised more than $5,000 for the Niña Arriba college fund.
Chavez is currently touring in Texas and nationally, both solo and with her full band.