Dressed in a funky polyester shirt, Gio Chamba looks like a relic from the 70s. But This Houston-based musician is more than a throwback act. He is a passionate artist who embraces many musical styles and uses them to entertain and unite people.
“Music is powerful connector,” he said. “It can change people’s lives.”
I met Chamba at Noches Culturales, a community event organized by Starbucks and hosted by Pili Montilla, an Emmy-nominated TV personality and producer, that brings the community together through music and coffee. On this night, about 50 people packed into a Starbucks in Northwest Houston to listen to Chamba’s intimate show.
“I’ll start off with something slow to get you warmed up,” said Chamba. “Then I’ll speed it up to get you dancing.”
Singing in both English and Spanish, Chamba entertained the audience with a high energy set of cumbia, techno, hip-hop, and rock . As promised, he got everyone out of their seats and on to the dance floor (created by moving tables and chairs to the side) with a Latin-inspired groove. The highlight of his performance was a blazing guitar solo in the middle of the crowd.
“I appreciate that Starbucks is supporting local artists and bringing our community together,” Montilla said.
Chamba’s debut album is scheduled for release in March. In the meantime, enjoy this track, Planeta Cumbia.