In honor of the 2017 Sharq Taronalari, The Embassy of the United States in Tashkent is inviting popular, American group “The Gina Chavez Band” as its official entry in this international music festival. During their visit to Uzbekistan, this American band will have the opportunity to play multiple concerts in the historic city center of Samarkand from August 25 to 31.
Gina Chavez is a bilingual, Latin-American folk singer and songwriter who performs in both English and Spanish. Her music draws on different musical styles including cumbia, pop, reggaeton, and folk genres, and features dynamic, bilingual vocals. “Cumbia” is a dance music genre popular throughout much of Latin America. U.S. media outlets such as National Public Radio, USA Today, and The Boston Globe all positively reviewed her latest independent release, “Up.Rooted,” which topped the iTunes and Amazon Latin music charts.
Chavez was the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner for her song “Siete-D,” a rock-cumbia-rap mix that explores life in El Salvador and is based on a trip across the countryside via the 7-D bus – a trip Chavez took while working as a volunteer there in 2010.
Chavez comes to Uzbekistan with her five-member band:
Brad Johnston, who plays accordion and keyboards;
Kenneth Null, Jr., who plays bass guitar;
Michael Romero, playing trumpet, keyboards and singing vocal harmonies;
Jerry Ronquillo, who plays percussion and provides vocal harmonies; and
Clint Simmons, on the drums.
The Gina Chavez Band swept the 2015 Austin Music Awards in Texas, winning Musician of the Year, Album of the Year for “Up.Rooted,” Song of the Year for “Siete-D,” Best Latin Band, and the Esme Barrera Award for Music Activism and Education, while placing in six other categories.
The group is excited to visit Uzbekistan for the first time and to participate in Sharq Taronalari, one of the largest music festivals in Central Asia. The festival aims to promote achievements in national music, to preserve musical and cultural traditions, to encourage talents in instrumental music and vocals, and to further international creative ties, peace, and friendship.
The Gina Chavez Band’s appearance at the Sharq Taronalari festival is made possible by the United States Department of State’s Arts Envoy program. This U.S. program shares the best of the American arts community with the world in order to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration and to demonstrate shared values and aspirations.