“If I am around smoke, it really affects my voice. I was in Japan and playing in this really cool bar upstairs – very cool venue – and as I was in the middle of playing a song, my voice just dies. The bar was filled with smoke and my voice died – nothing would come out. I went outside for some fresh air and immediately start feeling better. The manager was so apologetic and said they would ask everyone to go outside to smoke, which changed the atmosphere and I could finish the show. I take for granted that I live in Austin, which is a smokefree city, when I play in cities that still allowing smoking indoors. You reek from the smoke, and then there are the health effects from the secondhand smoke. Smokefree music cities really do save lives and help us with our quality of life.”
Gina Chavez is a wife, philanthropist and an award-winning independent musician. She is a proud native Austinite and a 12-time Austin Music Award winner, including 2019 Best Female Vocals and 2015 Austin Musician of the Year. Her NPR Tiny Desk concert has more than a million views and she is featured on a Brene Brown’s new podcast, Unlocking Us. Gina’s music is deeply personal. Her passionate collection of bilingual songs take audiences on a journey to discover her Latin roots through music as she shares her story of life in Texas as a married, queer Catholic.
Gina tours internationally as a cultural ambassador with the U.S. State Department and runs Ninas Arriba, a college fund she co-founded with her wife for young women in gang-dominated El Salvador. She is featured alongside Oprah, Beyonce, Mahalia Jackson, Dolly Parton and many more in Southern Living’s new book celebrating “100 extraordinary women who have left their indelible mark on the South and beyond.” Her first all-Spanish language album, La Que Manda, is now available everywhere.