STRIKING A CHORD
Brené Brown follows up ACL Fest appearance with storytelling and song night in Austin
In a time where many talking heads come across as being just as vapid as reality stars, few people can claim to be public intellectuals. Dr. Brené Brown is the rare exception. Her Ted Talk on “The Power of Vulnerability” propelled her well past academia, leading her to a Netflix documentary, an HBO Max series, and six times to the New York Times bestseller list. Needless to say, she has legions of fans.
So, expect a traffic surge on October 17 when the Long Center opens up tickets for her latest local appearance — “A Night of Song and Storytelling” — benefitting the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. On November 12, Brown will welcome acclaimed local musicians Gina Chávez and Carrie Rodriguez for a one-night engagement weaving song and storytelling.
Music is far from a new interest for the University of Houston research professor. Her podcast, Unlocking Us, features mini mixtapes themed to the episodes. She has also chatted with some of the world’s most famous musicians, from Willie Nelson to Bono. Most recently, she sat down with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl for a pop singalong at ACL Fest.
Brown’s co-hosts for the evening are a natural fit for an evening of storytelling. A fellow Ted Talk alumna, Chávez is a Latin Grammy nominee whose deeply personal music explores her Latine roots and domestic life as a married, queer Catholic.
Rodriguez mines her individual culture in her work as a singer and violinist. In 2022, she was the composer and lyricist for a successful off-Broadway musical, ¡Americano!, based on a real-life DREAMer. Closer to home, she founded "Laboratorio," a concert series at Stateside at the Paramount Theatre celebrating Latine culture in America.
Both performers also happen to have an intimate connection with Brown. Chávez and Rodriguez composed and performed the music featured in Unlocking Us. Their June 2020 conversation, “On the Heart and Soul of Music,” is essential pre-listening before the Long Center event.
Lest fans need a further reminder; This will surely be one of the hottest tickets in town. The member presale is already in full effect, and organizers anticipate a quick sell-out. Timers, reminders, and bookmarks are all highly encouraged. Prices have not been announced yet.