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Latin Grammy nominee Gina Chávez to perform at North Street Cabaret in Madison

Gina Chavez (Photo: Ismael Quintanilla III)

Latin Grammy Award nominee Gina Chávez, an internationally acclaimed recording artist— and the Austin (Texas) Musician of the Year in 2015 — is coming to Madison.

The 12-time Austin Music Award winner will be performing on Sunday night, April 16, 6-9 p.m. at the North Street Cabaret. Chávez is being presented by Latinos Organizing for Understanding and Development (LOUD), a statewide initiative focused on promoting collaboration between Latino arts and service organizations, artists, and the communities in which they operate.

“She is a very talented musician from the Austin area where she has won many awards including the Austin Musician of the Year. That’s a pretty incredible accomplishment because there is so much competition in Austin, Texas,” Oscar Mireles, founder of LOUD, tells Madison365.

Chávez’s 2020 album titled “La Que Manda” (“The woman in charge”) was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for best pop/rock album. She has also been nominated for Best Female Vocals in 2019. Her NPR Tiny Desk concert (above) has more than 1.3 million views and her hour-long PBS special is available nationwide. 

The North Street Cabaret describes Chávez on their website as a “multi-ethnic, Austin native and a queer, Catholic, internationally-acclaimed Latinx pop artist who is redefining Latin music in Texas and beyond.” Her music is deeply personal and her passionate collection of bilingual songs takes 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 Chavez and Oscar Mireles at The Gobbler in Johnson Creek back in 2016
(Photo: Oscar Mireles)

“Beyond being a great musician, she is a philanthropist, too,” Mireles says. “She and her wife have sponsored college scholarships for this girls school in El Salvador. She’s very much into social justice.”

Along with her wife, Chávez co-founded Niñas Arriba, a college fund for young women in gang-dominated El Salvador.

Mireles actually met Chávez seven years ago at The Gobbler Theater in Johnson Creek where he introduced her to his book “I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos in Wisconsin.”  Chávez was performing that June night with the Zac Matthews Band.

“I had a chance to meet her and I’ve been following her for a while. During the pandemic, not a lot of bands were touring,” Mireles says. “I looked three weeks ago and saw in April that she would be performing in Wausau, and then La Crosse and then Des Moines…. So I thought: Why not Madison? I reached out to [music booker] Al [Rasho] at the North Street Cabaret and sent him some information and he was all for it.”

The North Street Cabaret, located at 610 North Street on Madison’s north/east side (down the street from the former Oscar Mayer factory) is a venue that is dedicated to the presentation of roots music.

“North Street Cabaret is a beautiful little place to play and I think they’ve done a wonderful job booking some great acts including many Latino and Latina artists,” Mireles says. 

Singer-songwriter Gina Chávez (Photo: Ismael Quintanilla III)

“Gina has played a lot of bigger places, but I think sometimes musicians like to play smaller audiences like the North Street Cabaret because you can really feel the audience right in front of you,” Mireles says. “It’s a very intimate setting and I think that suits Gina who is just a very warm, kind-hearted person.” 

Chávez, who has been 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,” tours internationally as a cultural ambassador with the U.S. State Department performing on a 12-country tour through Latina America, the Middle East, and Central Asia.

“Gina is not just a national star; she’s international,” Mireles says. “So I think this is going to be a popular event and I encourage people to get tickets as soon as they can because I’m positive it will sell out.”


For tickets to Gina Chávez’s April 16 performance at North Street Cabaret, click here.