From the first time Texan singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa picked up a guitar at age 14, she knew music would be something she would feel passionate about.
“Songs could make me cry, just because I loved them so much, and that’s something that I didn’t feel with other things,” she says.
The Shedd Institute will host Hinojosa for a benefit concert with all proceeds going to Centro Latino Americano, a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting Lane County’s Latino community.
Hinojosa’s songs blend the genres of folk, country, pop and Latino music with lyrics that combine English and Spanish. She is touring in support of her new album, West.
The album includes a cover of “What Am I Doing Hangin’ Round?,” a song made famous by The Monkees, and a country version of the Mexican standard “Perfidia,” previously covered by Desi Arnaz, Nat King Cole, Charlie Parker and Linda Ronstadt, among others.
Hinojosa’s music is inspired by a mix of things: her childhood in a “very Mexican-type Mexican family” in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas; her teenage years spent listening to Ronstadt and Neil Young; and her adult reflections on her family and youth.
“It’s just always been something that has always been kind of part of my personality and my connection to my culture as well as my American side of culture,” she says.
Centro Latino Americano offers mentoring for at-risk youth, legal counsel and direct support, such as providing bus passes, to members of the Latin American community in the Eugene area. “Centro’s been recognized as a safe place for immigrant families for over 40 years,” Assistant Director Trevor Whitbread says.
“Our community gets to enjoy some wonderful music, and the proceeds benefit an organization that is serving a community that feels a little bit under siege right now,” he says.
Revenue from the concert will go to the center’s most urgent needs, Whitbread says.
“Any time there’s an opportunity to bring people to sing where Latino people are uniting to support a cause, it’s always something that’s always meant a lot to me,” Hinojosa adds.
Tish Hinojosa performs 7:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 16, at The Shedd Institute; $15 to $19, all ages. All proceeds will go to Centro Latino Americano.
For a web extra Q&A with Hinojosa, go to eugeneweekly.com. — Ryan Nguyen