Latin Pop Songstress Gina Chavez Announces New EP LIGHTBEAM Out Today
Austin-based, Latin pop songstress Gina Chavez is thrilled to announce the forthcoming release of her EP "Lightbeam" on Friday, Sept. 14. The official EP release party will take place at the Seventh Annual Niñas Arriba Benefit Concert on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Antone's located at 305 E. Fifth St, Austin, Texas 78701. The concert will also feature performances by local powerhouses Carrie Rodriguez and Jane Ellen Bryantand will benefit Niñas Arriba, a college fund that Chavez co-founded for young Latinas in a gang-dominated suburb of San Salvador, El Salvador. This year's concert will also celebrate Niñas Arriba's first four college graduates with 100 percent of the proceeds supporting the program. Doors are at 7 p.m. General admission tickets to the show are $17 and VIP tickets are $50. Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased here. For more information on Gina Chavez, please see here. For more information on Niñas Arriba, see here.
The new record is one that holds a very special place in Chavez's heart as it delves deeply into her personal relationship with her wife, Jodi Granado, and the journey and hardships they've undergone to be able to publicly express their love for each other. Chavez beautifully conveys her and Granado's story through five unapologetic tracks that touch on feelings of longing, endurance of one's faith, beauty and sacrifice. It is a record that also tells a bigger story about how love can extend beyond the boundaries of gender, religion, race and geography in an effort to lift people up and allow them to embrace themselves for who they are and live out loud.
The first single from the EP, "Heaven Knows," was premiered by NPR on Feb. 14just in time for Valentine's Day, and was written as a tribute to Chavez's wife, Jodi. The single can be streamed via Spotify, Apple Music and purchased via iTunes.
Chavez's new EP is a "slow-burn soul and uptempo R&B" (NPR) love letter to her wife and long-time partner, Jodi. The two met at the University Catholic Center at the University of Texas at Austin where they quickly fell in love. The next 12 years would force the couple to balance their families' Catholic beliefs with their own faith and love for each other. After navigating a long-distance relationship in the United States, hiding their love while volunteering with nuns in El Salvador and coming out to friends and family, the couple finally married in 2017 at Tiny T Ranch near Austin, two years after marriage equality became legal in Texas.
"'Lightbeam' was born from a life with the woman I love," Gina Chavez said. "But really, it's a love letter to all those who fall into that beautiful gray area between black and white. To those who feel the need to slink into the shadows and hide who they are. 'Lightbeam' is about living our true selves right now. Because we are all beautiful just the way we are."
"Lightbeam" was recorded by Dwight Baker in October 2017, in just eight days, at Matchbox Studios in Austin, Texas. The EP features Dave Boyle on the keys, Conrad Choucroun on the drums and Steve Terebecki on the bass.
"LIGHTBEAM" TRACKLIST IS AS FOLLOWS:
- It's Hard To Love A Woman
- Heaven Knows
- Let It Out
Upcoming tour dates and performances:
Aug. 2 - Payment Performing Arts Center - Truro, MA
Aug. 4 - Musikfest - Bethlehem, PA
Aug. 9 - Levitt Pavilion - Dayton, Ohio
Aug. 11 - Festival Latino - Columbus, Ohio
Aug. 12 - Summer Concert Series - Aberdeen, NC
Aug. 16 - 17 - Philadelphia Folk Festival - Philadelphia, PA
Aug. 25 - McKinney PAC - McKinney, Texas
Sept. 15 - Antone's - Austin, Texas (EP Release and benefit concert)
Sept. 27 - Elon University - Elon, NC
Sept. 28 - Stone Room Concerts - Washington, D.C.
Oct. 18 - The Iridium - New York, NY
Oct. 19 - Berklee Cafe 939 - Boston, MA
Oct. 20 - Millersville University - Lancaster, PA
Oct. 21 - Kean University - Hillside, NJ
Oct. 25 - Hult Center for Performing Arts - Eugene, OR
Oct. 26 - MERC, dba Portland'5 Centers for the Arts - Portland, OR
Nov. 13 - Faulkner PAC - Fayetteville, AR
Nov. 16 - Texas Tech University - Lubbock, Texas
Multi-ethnic, Latin pop songstress and Austin based musician Gina Chavez never thought she'd see the day when two women could marry in Texas. Then again, she never thought she would marry a woman. "Heaven Knows," a track "steeped in slow-burn soul and uptempo R&B," is the first single off her upcoming five-song EP "Lightbeam." The EP chronicles the musical journey of 12 years in love, a love Chavez never thought she would experience. "Lightbeam," set to be released Sept. 14, 2018, is a sonic departure for Chavez who is known for her signature style of bilingual Latin folk-pop. Following a feature on NPR's All Things Considered and her Tiny Desk that has had more than 600,000 views, Chavez topped the iTunes and Amazon Latin charts with her 2014 award-winning album "Up.Rooted." Chavez's passionate collection of bilingual songs took audiences on a journey through the Americas, blending the sounds and rhythms of the region with tension and grace. Her Spanish-language anthem, "Siete-D" (winner, John Lennon Songwriting Contest) recounts her experience volunteering in a gang-dominated suburb of San Salvador where she co-founded Niñas Arriba, a college fund for young Latinas. For her latest record, the nine-time Austin Music Award winner and 2015 Austin Musician of the Year traded her acoustic guitar for the smooth tones of a Gibson hollow body, and called upon producer Dwight A. Baker (MISSIO, Alpha Rev, The Wind and The Wave, Josh Abbott Band) to lay down five soulful and diverse songs, that expand upon her previous work with same lively and sophisticated spirit that her fans have grown to love. Having drawn inspiration from the contemporary rhythm and blues vibes of Leon Bridges, the punchy guitar work of Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, and the rhythmic vocals in the latest pop and rap music, "Lightbeam" boasts intensely personal lyrics - "heaven knows our souls, our story / the shape of your heart when you hold me / wouldn't tear us apart or disown me" - strong melodic hooks and a pop aesthetic that showcase Chavez's versatility as an artist. Fresh off a 12-country tour as an ambassador with the U.S. State Department, Gina recorded the new EP in October 2017, in just eight days at Matchbox Studios in Austin, Texas. The EP features some of Austin's finest - Dave Boyle (keys), Conrad Choucroun (drums), and Steve Terebecki (bass) - on five unapologetically personal tracks that explore longing, faith, beauty and sacrifice. With 10 Austin Music Awards, an NPR Tiny Desk with more than half a million views, frequent tours as a cultural ambassador with the U.S. State Department, being named an official 2018 SXSW artist for the fifth year in a row with her six-piece band and a trip to Kyrgyzstan in April 2018, Chavez and her wife, Jodi, have embarked on a European mini-tour that kicks off the couple's honeymoon and the release of "Lightbeam." For more information on Gina Chavez, please see www.ginachavez.com.
Niñas Arriba means "Girls Rising." In 2009, Gina Chavez and Jodi Granado were teaching English in El Salvador at the Maria Auxiladora School, a Catholic institution that aims to educate the "poorest of the poor." One day, they asked their senior class who wanted to go to college. Every hand shot up. Then they asked who was planning to attend college. Every hand dropped. Even for eager students, prospects in El Salvador are bleak. Niñas Arriba aims to rectify this situation bit by bit - girl by girl. Contributions directly fund a private college education for young women in a gang-dominated suburb in El Salvador. The fund currently supports full scholarships (tuition, academic fees and supplies, food and transportation) for four students and paid internships for college graduates. All donations are accepted through Niña Arriba's fiscal sponsor, Stone Room Concerts, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Donations are tax-deductible. For more information, visit www.ninasarriba.wordpress.com.