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08-30-2013
From Europe with Love...Playing the Montreux Jazz Festival and Country Rondez-vous..the Largest Country Festival in France!

 

Hello my friends! I hope this email finds you and yours well and enjoying the last few days of summer. I am excited to share that  this past month I had the time of my life and great honor of playing two of the most prestigious stages in EUROPE , the MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL and  COUNTRY RENDEZ-VOUS en CRAPONNE SUR ARZON, FRANCE. For any artists these  stages  are on their bucket list. You work for years to be invited to play them and this year was MY YEAR! It was AMAZING!
 
The Montreux Jazz Festival   on Lake Geneva Switzerland  was started in 1967 with artists Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald. Since then all the GREATS of the GREATS have graced the stage from MILES DAVIS, to RAY CHARLES to DAVID BOWIE . This year PRINCE, BONNIE RAITT,  STING,  DIANA KRALL, QUINCY JONES , ZZ TOP   and yes , STEPHANIE URBINA JONES all played the MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL! It was an awesome full circle moment for me as the first  solo gig I ever played was at the ELEPHANT ROOM ,a reknowned JAZZ ROOM in AUSTIN , TX where I cut my teeth as an artist and began to weave my own style of country, latin, blues and jazz into my first happy hour set thanks to MIKE MORDECAI at BBA BOOKING so many years ago.
 
It was a fantastic tour that began  in MILAN, ITALY where we rehearsed for 2 days with Italian drummer Stefano Bertolotti and then headed to Switzerland. After playing the Montreux Jazz Festival , some wonderful gigs in northern Switzerland  and  radio visits with David Boli at  COUNTRY RADIO SWITZERLAND and RAINER at COUNTRY MUSICS 24 GERMANYS- RADIO #1  we headed  to CRAPONNE- SUR- ARZON to play COUNTRY RENDEZ-VOUS the largest COUNTRY FESTIVAL in FRANCE! Again, many many country greats have played this festival and this year was no exception as I shared the bill with one of my favorite bands THE MAVERICKS and experienced my first international press conference with interviews in English, Spanish, German and French!
 
After two weeks  we returned grateful for the experience and excited to TOUR next year with AUGIE MEYERS of the TEXAS TORNADOS! Many thanks to our agent in Europe, Ed Bouchard at CWE ENTERTAINMENT for making it all happen along with all the programmers at Texas Red Dirt Radio, Texas Music Chart, Debbie and Bill Green, and CDTEX .  Music travels.....From TENNESSEE to TEXAS to MEXICO to  NYC  to WASHINGTON DC and EUROPE it has been an incredible  dream come true international year  of   taking my Texicana Country music around  the World! I want to thank each of you for your support ! As my song "Adios Mis Amigos" says "YOUR LOVE HAS LEFT AN IMPRINT ON MY SOUL" "I  TAKE YOU WITH ME WHEREVER I GO" !

 


 
02-14-2013
San Miguel "A Story of Love, Full Circle Moments and Giving Back What You've Been Given"
After the death of my abuelita ( grandmother) Virgina Urbina Jones 12 years ago, I was understandably down. My tears led me to a search to know more about her life and where my family came from in Mexico. Why did my great grandfather cross over and why does the culture and people move me like they do?

Only a few times in my life have I felt a STRONG non-negotiable pull to something like I did when I first heard of the city in Mexico called San Miguel de Allende. I felt its presence and it called me to it just by hearing its name. I began researching and within a month my father had gifted me with a month study in the magical city in Mexico. I took a bus from Laredo to the border and then hopped on another one filled with farmers, chickens and other farm animals. It was an overnight crazy drive through the mountains to the city calling my heart. I was terrified but determined. I thankfully woke up safe and sound and stepped out of the bus onto a cobblestone road where I caught a taxi to the concrete house of Carmen on the outskirts of town. My room was $22 a night, all meals included. I fell hard and fast in love with the people, the city, the country, the music the smells and the way of life. I intended to stay for one month but could not pull myself away for three .My heart was waking up from a deep sleep and sadness of not only losing my grandmother but what I had been missing most of my life having been raised away from my father and my Mexican family. I was intoxicated and filled with a love I had never known and a sense of belonging in my new home. I was touched by the kindness,joy, generosity and simplicity of everyday living. Birthdays were not about buying gifts but about spending time with family, eating cake, dancing and making music. Deaths were a long honoring goodbye, with rituals that supported the process of grief. No one missed the mid day meal with the family and of course I loved the siestas after those AMAZING comidas. School was overwhelming but so sweet as I learned the language that I had remembered my grandparents speaking when I was a little girl.

I seemed to be living in an altered state of grace as something in me woke up and I felt more alive than I ever had been in my life. Songs began pouring through me including "Revolucion en Mi Corazon" and visions of my future and what was mine to do. At the time I was a full time staff writer for Sony/ Tree, the largest publishing company in the world in Nashville, TN . I was gratefully writing songs that were being recorded by other country artists and was on my way to what felt like an inevitable great success in my career. I really enjoyed my simple and beautiful life as a writer but during my time in San Miguel something more began calling to me. I met a young group of musicians and out of no where magic happened and we began making music. I could not speak Spanish and they could not speak English but we spoke MUSIC most nights of the week.

It was at this precious, defining time that I was given the vision and fullness of who I would become as an artist. Not only was I called to write but it was time for me to face my fears, sing and become a performing artist. I had a story to tell I was eager to share, celebrate and honor the beauty of my Hispanic culture and heritage with the world. I returned to the US with determination and took my great-fathers name "MANUEL ANAYA URBINA" who had inspired me with his life story , crossing the border in 1901 in search of religious freedom and a better life. Within weeks of my return to the states , more serendipitous things happened and I was soon recording my hybrid songs with a group of Mariachis in San Antonio, TX. The outpouring of love and support of the hybrid Latin/ Country sound was the inspiration I needed to turn those first recordings into a full album. I mortgaged my home in TN ( CASA DEL RIO) and set out on a 2 month radio tour across Texas with my guitar. I did not leave until they let me sing. Within months my first single "God Loves It When We Dance" was at # 4 on the charts and my second "Shakin Things Up went to #1 for 5 weeks in a row making me first female Hispanic to hit the top of the Texas Music Charts. I became a Kerville New Folk Finalist , was singing with Willie and at some of the biggest festivals in Texas and within one year the dream I had conceived in Mexico was alive and KICKIN!

Since then I have brought to life a daughter , Zeta Anaya West and created a sweet family of my own, recorded 4 cds, been awarded the Latina of the Year Award by La Prensa a bilingual publication,was a featured artist on the National TV show Troubadour Texas and starred as the female lead in the Texas Western called "Courage". I have been blessed to tour the US, Europe,Japan and now I am deeply honored and excited to come full circle to the birth place of my inspiration in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico this March! My intent is not to boast..but to share and celebrate the power we all have to bring a dream to life when it is connected to a heart of love and intent. It is amazing to me to see where that dream has taken me and even more for this full circle moment of being asked to give back to the community that inspired mis suneos so many years ago. On March 2, I will donate my performance at the 2nd annual Casita Linda Folk and Blues Music Fest to the non- profit Casita Linda, is the Habitat for Humanity of San Miguel. All I can say is how blessed I feel to help give life to anothers dream , a sense of belonging and a home for a family to dream new dreams for themselves and  their children.

There are no coincidences, life gives life, prayers are answered and dreams do come true! Many thanks to all the angels along the way who blessed and guided me..mi corazon se llena and I'm ready for more! ..I'll see you in San Miguel!
 
08-23-2012
The Dreamer in Me

It is always amazing to me how we  each weave our tapestry of life and dreams into reality and how powerful we truly are.

 At the end of last year I was at a crossroad. Still loving what I was doing , AMAZED and GRATEFUL for all the gifts of my life but knowing there was a BIGGER dream calling me and that I needed a team  to  transport me and my company Texicana Entertainment to the next level.  I made the hard and conscious decision to come off the road .  I was reminded again that this dream was fueled and driven by something much bigger than me and it was time to trust. Once again win or lose, I bet the farm and everything we have because I believe.  What I have learned is that when I am led or inspired by something whether it is a song, idea or vision,  I just have to show up  in each moment and do whatever I can with whatever I have  and magic happens.  Magic did happen and within weeks of setting my intent, a lean mean music and entertainment mogul team showed up and took over. We spent the last five months building a  plan of how to connect the dots of the dream into a reality. It was so exciting and  a lot like writing a song.  I was inspired and  felt ideas move us in a certain direction, knew when we were misguided and off and then felt the same joy and relief when it all came together.The next step is another one into the unknown. Prayin for and attracting like minded people who feel called to use their resources to bring the dream to life. Its kinda cool because each person, each song, each songwriter, each musician, investor, promoter etc is part of the grand design. It is actually comforting and AWESOME to realize how many peoples hearts are knitted together in this dream I had so many years ago. 

Sometimes I can get overwhelmed  but I  always find  that if I just put one foot in front of the other and keep creating from my heart, life shows up and transports me  beyond my wildest dreams. I cant tell you how many everyday people would stop me  over the years and  tell me I would be in TV and movies someday.  Each time I could never imagine how that could happen, but somehow it rang true. In one of the most poignant moments of my life I held my grandmothers hand as she was leaving this world. She looked at me and said,"Mija, you will take to the stage and take your music, OUR music to the world. You will be on TV and in movies." It was hard for me to believe back then before I was even writing songs, but I guesss some dreamers can see the dreams before they are realized. Now , I'm happy to say most of those dreams have all caught up  to my grandmothers. I am honored to carry her passion for life, love and music from my heart to yours. This is a little back story about how it all happened. I am so excited about the rest of  2012!  I can feel the change and the endless opportunities in the air!! See ya Soon..Down the Road!

BORN  
Stephanie Urbina Jones was born into a bi-cultural home in San Antonio, Texas where she grew up hearing sounds from both sides of the border. Her rich tapestry of music combines her life experiences and the sounds that influenced her soul...from mariachi, to blues, country, jazz    and pop..she has created a style all her own. 

RAISED  
After her parents divorce,  she grew up away from her father and her Mexican culture in the hill country town of Fredericksburg, TX. There in the country, with lots of time alone, Stephanie began escaping into music and writing her own songs to keep herself company.Many weekends were spent sliding across saw dust floors or around an old live oak tree in Luckenbach listening to poets carve out their souls on guitars. 

EDUCATION  
Stephanie attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with an advertising degree. It was there that she realized that she wanted to use her life to help bring music to the world.

HOW SHE GOT HERE   
After a year stint as the spokesperson for Oscar Mayer, Jones returned to Austin to work in the industry. She got a job as a receptionist at a recording studio , Nancy Fly and BBA Management and Booking Agency. The agency booked the renowned " Elephant Room,"  in Austin, TX so Jones booked herself and began cutting her teeth singing jazz  and soulfilled country. 

It was at the recording studio where she met her mentor Cameron Randle, who then managed the Texas Tornados. They both shared a passion for celebrating their Hispanic heritage in music and soon Stephanie moved to Nashville to work for his company, Refugee Management. Within six months of moving, Jones discovered her gift of writing songs. Soon Jones became a staff writer for Sony/ATV Tree and had five major label cuts under her belt.

ARTISTIC PASSION 
It was during her four years at Sony/ATV Tree that Stephanie began writing her passion for her  heritage in song. The loss of her abuelita (grandmother) created a voracious appetite within her to reconnect and reclaim her Mexican-American roots. She studied in Mexico for 3 months, writing and recording with native musicians and upon returning to the US felt called to combine her bi-cultural heritage into a style all her own. Her talent was soon recognized by the Mexican American Unity Council in San Antonio who asked her to record and sing her music with a 13-piece mariachi group in honor of the late Hispanic icon Henry B. Gonzales and singer Rosita Fernandez. It was this initial performance that confirmed what her heart had suspected...that she would be a bridge, a voice that would honor the past and celebrate the vibrant, passionate influences of the Hispanic culture emerging in the US and around the world with her unique brand of  Country music.  

Jones began making trips from Nashville to Texas  where she made a name for herself as an artist, visionary and businesswoman. She recorded and released four albums, 3 videos, bilingual commercials, starred in a movie, a new tv series "Troubadour Texas" and had one number one and four top ten songs on the Texas Music Chart. She was asked to perform at the most prestigious festivals and was featured in the state's most highly acclaimed magazines and newspapers. She created her own company "Texicana Entertainment" with four distinct divisions, partners and an  amazing track record. Currently Jones is writing, recording and assembling a team to take her and her dreams to a worldwide audience. This sexy, saucy, soulful singer/songwriter is crossing  every border, one border at a time poised to become the first Female  Hispanic American Country Artist to break through Country music. 

CAREER/PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS 

• First independent female to go #1 on the Texas Music Chart ( 5 weeks on a row) 

  • Latina Entertainer Award  

*Starred in the Texas western "Courage"

* Cast on National TV Series "Troubadour Texas"

• Grand Marshall for the Ford and Texas Ford Christmas River Parade ( broadcast in over 19 million homes across the country)  
• Filmed and recorded bilingual commercials for Honda (TV and radio)  
• Filmed two music videos/ seen across the country  
• Featured in San Antonio Express News, Houston Chronicle, Austin American Statesman, Texas Music Magazine, La Prensa ( Spanish language newspaper), Performing Songwriter Magazine  
• Sang a duet with Texas legend Willie Nelson at his Fourth of July Picnic ( broadcast worldwide on XM Satellite radio

INFLUENCES 
Willie Nelson/Dolly Parton/ George Strait/ Johnny Cash/ Linda Ronstadt /Carole King/ Bette Midler/ Oprah Winfrey / Mariachi Azteca

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING 
"As an artist that freely combines the singer/songwriter vibe with the hot blooded traditional sounds of Mexico, Jones naturally embraces a wider swath of the Lone star state than her contemporaries."  
Performing Songwriter Magazine  
Peter Cronin  

"Stephanie has what most people would regard as the right tools for her chosen life's work: an agile songwriter's pen; a smoky supple voice; devastating good looks; and a refreshing lack of music orthodoxy. But Jones real gifts are an adamant determination, a healthy skepticism about fast buck payoffs , and a work ethic that would put John Henry and his hammer to shame.  
Austin American Statesman  
John T Davis  

"Stephanie Urbina Jones has combined her dual heritage into a unique music genre. Jones possesses an intense pride in being Latina , but the icing on the cake is Jones' unique and superb voice that is sheer delight on the senses."  
La Prensa  
San Antonio, TX


It is always amazing to me how we  each weave our tapestry of life and dreams into reality and how powerful we truly are.

 At the end of last year I was at a crossroad. Still loving what I was doing , AMAZED and GRATEFUL for all the gifts of my life but knowing there was a BIGGER dream calling me and that I needed a team  to  transport me and my company Texicana Entertainment to the next level.  I made the hard and conscious decision to come off the road .  I was reminded again that this dream was fueled and driven by something much bigger than me and it was time to trust. Once again win or lose, I bet the farm and everything we have because I believe.  What I have learned is that when I am led or inspired by something whether it is a song, idea or vision,  I just have to show up  in each moment and do whatever I can with whatever I have  and magic happens.  Magic did happen and within weeks of setting my intent, a lean mean music and entertainment mogul team showed up and took over. We spent the last five months building a  plan of how to connect the dots of the dream into a reality. It was so exciting and  a lot like writing a song.  I was inspired and  felt ideas move us in a certain direction, knew when we were misguided and off and then felt the same joy and relief when it all came together.The next step is another one into the unknown. Prayin for and attracting like minded people who feel called to use their resources to bring the dream to life. Its kinda cool because each person, each song, each songwriter, each musician, investor, promoter etc is part of the grand design. It is actually comforting and AWESOME to realize how many peoples hearts are knitted together in this dream I had so many years ago. 

Sometimes I can get overwhelmed  but I  always find  that if I just put one foot in front of the other and keep creating from my heart, life shows up and transports me  beyond my wildest dreams. I cant tell you how many everyday people would stop me  over the years and  tell me I would be in TV and movies someday.  Each time I could never imagine how that could happen, but somehow it rang true. In one of the most poignant moments of my life I held my grandmothers hand as she was leaving this world. She looked at me and said,"Mija, you will take to the stage and take your music, OUR music to the world. You will be on TV and in movies." It was hard for me to believe back then before I was even writing songs, but I guesss some dreamers can see the dreams before they are realized. Now , I'm happy to say most of those dreams have all caught up  to my grandmothers. I am honored to carry her passion for life, love and music from my heart to yours. This is a little back story about how it all happened. I am so excited about the rest of  2012!  I can feel the change and the endless opportunities in the air!! See ya Soon..Down the Road!

BORN 
 
Stephanie Urbina Jones was born into a bi-cultural home in San Antonio, Texas where she grew up hearing sounds from both sides of the border. Her rich tapestry of music combines her life experiences and the sounds that influenced her soul...from mariachi, to blues, country, jazz    and pop..she has created a style all her own. 

RAISED  
After her parents divorce,  she grew up away from her father and her Mexican culture in the hill country town of Fredericksburg, TX. There in the country, with lots of time alone, Stephanie began escaping into music and writing her own songs to keep herself company.Many weekends were spent sliding across saw dust floors or around an old live oak tree in Luckenbach listening to poets carve out their souls on guitars. 

EDUCATION  
Stephanie attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with an advertising degree. It was there that she realized that she wanted to use her life to help bring music to the world.

HOW SHE GOT HERE   
After a year stint as the spokesperson for Oscar Mayer, Jones returned to Austin to work in the industry. She got a job as a receptionist at a recording studio , Nancy Fly and BBA Management and Booking Agency. The agency booked the renowned " Elephant Room,"  in Austin, TX so Jones booked herself and began cutting her teeth singing jazz  and soulfilled country. 

It was at the recording studio where she met her mentor Cameron Randle, who then managed the Texas Tornados. They both shared a passion for celebrating their Hispanic heritage in music and soon Stephanie moved to Nashville to work for his company, Refugee Management. Within six months of moving, Jones discovered her gift of writing songs. Soon Jones became a staff writer for Sony/ATV Tree and had five major label cuts under her belt.

ARTISTIC PASSION 
It was during her four years at Sony/ATV Tree that Stephanie began writing her passion for her  heritage in song. The loss of her abuelita (grandmother) created a voracious appetite within her to reconnect and reclaim her Mexican-American roots. She studied in Mexico for 3 months, writing and recording with native musicians and upon returning to the US felt called to combine her bi-cultural heritage into a style all her own. Her talent was soon recognized by the Mexican American Unity Council in San Antonio who asked her to record and sing her music with a 13-piece mariachi group in honor of the late Hispanic icon Henry B. Gonzales and singer Rosita Fernandez. It was this initial performance that confirmed what her heart had suspected...that she would be a bridge, a voice that would honor the past and celebrate the vibrant, passionate influences of the Hispanic culture emerging in the US and around the world with her unique brand of  Country music.  

Jones began making trips from Nashville to Texas  where she made a name for herself as an artist, visionary and businesswoman. She recorded and released four albums, 3 videos, bilingual commercials, starred in a movie, a new tv series "Troubadour Texas" and had one number one and four top ten songs on the Texas Music Chart. She was asked to perform at the most prestigious festivals and was featured in the state's most highly acclaimed magazines and newspapers. She created her own company "Texicana Entertainment" with four distinct divisions, partners and an  amazing track record. Currently Jones is writing, recording and assembling a team to take her and her dreams to a worldwide audience. This sexy, saucy, soulful singer/songwriter is crossing  every border, one border at a time poised to become the first Female  Hispanic American Country Artist to break through Country music. 

CAREER/PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS 

• First independent female to go #1 on the Texas Music Chart ( 5 weeks on a row) 

• Latina Entertainer Award  

*Starred in the Texas western "Courage"

* Cast on National TV Series "Troubadour Texas"

• Grand Marshall for the Ford and Texas Ford Christmas River Parade ( broadcast in over 19 million homes across the country)  
• Filmed and recorded bilingual commercials for Honda (TV and radio)  
• Filmed two music videos/ seen across the country  
• Featured in San Antonio Express News, Houston Chronicle, Austin American Statesman, Texas Music Magazine, La Prensa ( Spanish language newspaper), Performing Songwriter Magazine  
• Sang a duet with Texas legend Willie Nelson at his Fourth of July Picnic ( broadcast worldwide on XM Satellite radio

INFLUENCES 
Willie Nelson/Dolly Parton/ George Strait/ Johnny Cash/ Linda Ronstadt /Carole King/ Bette Midler/ Oprah Winfrey / Mariachi Azteca

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING 
"As an artist that freely combines the singer/songwriter vibe with the hot blooded traditional sounds of Mexico, Jones naturally embraces a wider swath of the Lone star state than her contemporaries."  
Performing Songwriter Magazine  
Peter Cronin
  

"Stephanie has what most people would regard as the right tools for her chosen life's work: an agile songwriter's pen; a smoky supple voice; devastating good looks; and a refreshing lack of music orthodoxy. But Jones real gifts are an adamant determination, a healthy skepticism about fast buck payoffs , and a work ethic that would put John Henry and his hammer to shame.  
Austin American Statesman  
John T Davis
  

"Stephanie Urbina Jones has combined her dual heritage into a unique music genre. Jones possesses an intense pride in being Latina , but the icing on the cake is Jones' unique and superb voice that is sheer delight on the senses."  
La Prensa  
San Antonio, TX



 
09-23-2011
Troubadour Texas
It's official..this weekend Saturday Sept 24 and Sunday Sept 24 is the DEBUT of the National TV show "Troubadour Texas" http://troubadourtx.com/?page=home and I am sooooo excited! I had the pleasure of seeing the premier last night in Dallas and let me tell you I was BLOWN AWAY! It is the coolest behind the scenes, storytelling of the real life, grit and gravy it takes to be an artist and human being living out a dream I have ever seen. I can only imagine that no matter who you are or what you do , you will be moved by the storytelling and passion as I was in watching these folks including me face their fears and follow their dreams. No matter who we are at some point in our lives we go after something that our heart is called too whether it is a job,school, parenting, volunteering our time, a hobby whatever. Inevitably that decision takes us on a journey into ourselves we could never have imagined. Watching the good , the bad and the ugly,the dreamer in you will be moved by the dreams of others in this series. I can only say that after 20 years in the music business I am honored to be a part and one of the cast members of this show. I sat in a amazement and awe as I watched 9 of the 24 of us perform last night. Each artist had a unique interpretation and spirit that touched and moved me. I couldn't stop crying before and after as I spilled through my own memory after memory of the road I have travelled . Friends, marriages, bands, gigs, guitars, babies and years have come and gone and I couldn't help but ask myself was it all worth it? Am I proud of my life and who I am? Certainly I have lost things I loved along the way, but more importantly my spirit has been filled up time and time again by the songs, the friends and the moments of true communion that keep me coming back for more. In the end what I have come to see is that I began this journey because I needed to get the pain I had inside out. I wrote because I had too and then at some point I stepped into my fear and began to share what was inside with others. Thankfully, somewhere along the way my sorrow gave way to joy and I gratefully sang and danced through that as well. Music has carried and healed me since I was a child. At this point in my life it still does and I am THANKFUL to get to do what I love. To all of you who have listened and supported me on this journey so far I say Muchismas Gracias! To Stacey Dean Campbell and the folks at Troubadour Texas I send my heartfelt GRATITUDE for signing up to share an even bigger dream with the world. I have mortgaged my house , sometimes almost my soul only to be saved and renewed by what my heart loves to do. Thank you for this opportunity to share it with the world! Check out my artists page here.http://troubadourtx.com/?page=artists To find out where Troubadour Texas is showing in your market this weekend across the country go to: http://troubadourtx.com/?page=placesweair
 
11-22-2010
"Thanks Giving and Hard Earned Happiness"

So someone new to my world who has been following my career piped in on facebook when I kicked this whole “Gracias TV” campaign and said  ”Stephanie , you are just too happy”. Surprisingly enough I felt a sharp twinge of guilt and questions started rolling through my mind like: Am I being real?  Am I really happy? Am I too happy that folks won’t relate to me? After all so many of my favorite artists and great songs of all time have been the ones filled with angst and depth and were my comfort when I was going through whatever tough time. I wondered if my campaign was too happy, too sweet to be cool.

 Within 10 minutes I came to my senses and realized that my happiness is one of the most hard earned assets of my life.  The truth is for the majority of my short  stay on earth so far I have not been happy or grateful.  One of the most profound life changing moments of my life came on trip I took to the pyramids of Mexico a few years back. Only weeks prior to going I had crossed paths with Lee McCormick who had let me borrow his guitar 10 years earlier after singing a demo for him in Nashville. I ran into him in San Diego and was so excited to see him and thank him for loaning me a guitar because I had become a professional songwriter and now performer, teaching myself how to play on HIS guitar. We caught up and he invited me to join him on a spiritual journey to the Dreaming House in Teotihuacan, Mexico.

  I was broke and somewhat broken at the time but something told me I needed to go, so I did. I remember freaking out and complaining a lot about everything up to that point in my life. .I was pretty filled up with not enoughs…I’m not enough, your not enough, we don’t have enough…and frankly I was getting sick of my own victim  self.  There I was groanin and moanin about how bad my life was when Lee stopped me cold, looked me in the eyes and said ”You know what your real problem is Stephanie?” (he had my attention) and continued “ “YOU ARE ADDICTED TO SUFFERING!”

I stood there at the foot of the pyramid of the moon speechless cause my heart knew he had hit the jackpot of truth in my soul. As I laid in my bed that night I reeled in the realization of how I fed off of and ate suffering as my diet of life. I fed off of drama  always comparing my life to others, always wanting more, not able to be happy, satisfied or grateful. 

 Within 6 months of that trip my marriage was falling apart , we were headed for divorce and I really had something to cry about. I was devastated that my family was gone and that my dream of being a successful recording artist  was slipping away because my label  would not put me out during a divorce. To make matters worse my father in law who was like a father to me died in the midst of it all. I was devastated and depressed. Every dream I had worked and loved was crumbling and there was nothing I could do except of course cry and write.  Sounds like a good story for a victim huh?

 Well that may have been the case but during the hardest time of my life so far the words of Lee McCormick haunted me and I  committed to do whatever I had to do rewrite the chapters of my life. Instead of becoming a student of suffering I became a student of gratitude. I started reading every book I could on every author that seemed more filled with joy than angst and going to church. I did my internal work and made peace with my past and believe it or not after  one of the most brutal divorces  that I have known, made peace with my ex. We are now friends and great co-parents to our daughter. Four years later , I have  a new love, new  cd, new family,  and new outlook on life. I have built my spiritual muscle and learned how to refocus my lens and see the good through what appears to be bad. The harder I look for what I have to be grateful for the easier it is to enjoy my life.  Now I am happy, not in every moment but in most and I am most proud of that.

  Interestingly enough it was during the darkest time that I wrote the song “Gracias” with my friends Mark Marchetti and Jack Williams. Seems my soul sends an SOS and soon a song to teach and reach me follows. This song has been a gift in my life … reminder that my happiness is my choice every day, every moment, every thought. I am lucky to be alive ….grateful  for what I have and haven’t got.

 I hope this season of Thanks Giving brings peace , joy and Abundance to your heart and home!! Gracias Ya’ll!!!

                           “Gracias” by  SUJ/ Mark Marchetti/ Jack Williams

 Well I woke up this morning and I hit my knees

Jut to say thank you God instead of please

Well my pockets are empty but my heart has plenty of love to spend

It seems the more I give the more it just comes comes back again

 And I say “Gracias “, Thank you God

For what I have and haven’t got

The dark of the night , the light of the day

The gift of my life all I want to say

Is “Gracias” Thank you God

 To hear this song got to www.stephanieurbonajones.com


Comments (5)
 
06-10-2010
Artist of Life

 I once knew a wise old man Maximillian was his name

 He  was an artist of life, a sculptor by trade

 I used go and watch him work ask him questions try to learn 

 About the magic that he made..but he'd just smile and say

 

I'm Chiselin out my Soul

Like Michelangelo

Found Spirit in the Stone

I'm Chiselin out My soul

 

 Life is amazing or maybe what I mean to say is we are amazing life forces....the way we dream our intent and then create. Over the last month I have been watching the History channel "America The Story of Us" and I have been so taken by  the power of our intent , will and dreams as human beings. Its hard to imagine a man with a crazy vision, betting all he had to build  the Erie Canal. Ingenuity, tenacity, stamina ,faith , belief and of course the almighty power of love have transformed  our lives and our world from generation to generation...each of us an artist of life.  I had to laugh at myself as I watched it  I realized how I have been frozen by fear more times than I'd like to remember over some upcoming  daunting event or task. Folks, I wasn't ever trying to build the Hoover Dam here...but  was always just trying to create a life I loved. The only thing that truly ever held me back was my perspective or lack of faith in myself. Sure I could spend the rest of my life blaming or trying to figure out why or I can just say thank you to God for getting me here and  and take responsibility now for anything left unloved. 

   After my divorce, I was once again frozen for a while...and truly it took me a good year to even begin to dream again. It was like I needed "a year of ginger"( the stuff you eat between bites of sushi) to try and clear my pallet from  what was left of one old dream and make room for another. I had all but given up on myself and my career when in December my tio Rudy looked and me and said "If  you don't do something with your music mija  I am done with you." (and he meant it.)  It stopped me in my tracks. Soon my bf Jeremy was going through my catalogue and agreeing with Tio. Fine I said, how can I do it?  I am willing but I am broke and broken. Within weeks someone showed up like an angel and loaned me a small sum to put the album  together, build a website and hit the road on a six week radio tour. I tried some killer salsa at a party and mentioned how I'd always wanted to work with a great salsa company when my radio promoter and Abbey from Luckenbach introduced me to the fine folks at Arriba! Salsa. We hooked up and they sponsored my radio tour. What, you love country music  and mariachis, how about your own series at one of the most famous honkytonks in Texas? It was all like magic, I just said yes to life..and it rose up to meet me... delivering my dreams.  

  Here we are three months later and my single is #20 on the Texas Music Chart and The Texas Regional Radio Report , Ive got my own summer series, great band, family and life so I decided to do some more dreaming. Ok, I want to travel to Europe with my music...I mention it from stage and  within two weeks Texas Music Tours is setting up a tour for  with me and 20 fans to Italy next June!!! KILLER!!!!  Believe me I am surprised too....but mostly what I am is grateful. Grateful to be in the flow of something bigger than myself. Whats next? Well more music and more travel and chances to brings friends and fans along to share in the fun and discovery. Over the next year I will host "Revolucion en Mi Corazon" transformational weekends at Laughing Winds (my second home) in TN  www.laughingwinds.com and share the gifts I have been given with others. I plan on writing a book and since I'm dreaming big lets just dream up a spot on the George Lopez Show... Why not? What is there to lose? My ego? Thank GOD! After facing all my fears last year.. dating, firewalking, vision questing, sweatlodges and restarting my career....I am GOING FOR IT!!!   You may see me flat on my booty but know I  HAD A BALL getting there...trusting myself and God... creating a  masterpiece of love and life!  When I blew out the candles on my cake this year..Zeta said "Mommy, what did you wish? And truly with tears in my eyes I said "More of this!" Thank you Life, Thank you God

 

Everyones got an artists eye

Painting pictures with their lives

Everything you say and do

Is a framed canvas of your own truth

 

So I'm Chiselin out my Soul

Like Michelangelo

Found Spirit in the Stone

I'm Chiselin out my soul

 

Chiselin Out My Soul        Words and Music by Stephanie Urbina Jones


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03-07-2010
Como Se Llama, Mama (Where Have You Been?)

Como Se Llama, Mama? (Where Have you been)

So here goes ..my first BLOG. Who came up with that word ...blogging? Anyway here  I am flipped out over my new flip  and all the things you can do with your computer these days. I feel like a bear who went into hibernation a few years back and came back to a new world. Seriously.. where have I been? Well  here's the Christmas card from Norman Rockbottom I never wrote.

 I've been been through the deep steam clean of  life they call divorce. Yeah I know  it happens everyday to everyone..but when it happens to you..whoa..crazy. It was truly a drag while it was happening and for  a few years following while I tried to figure out the single mom routine and re-dream my life. But like any good cleaning job it made me come clean about my past  and  a lot of things  within myself that needed to change... like whats really important and whats not. I cried so hard I finally started laughing. 

Now whats really funny is dating and feeling like a teenager all over again. Is he gonna call? Oh my Gato does he like me? Do I like him? I hadn't kissed anyone else in 12 years and then for two years after the divorce..crazy. But I have to say it is all pretty fun to be in discovery all over again and this time with some self esteem and minus the 10 pounds I lost not being able to eat for a few months.  It's true every cloud has a  siver lining and now I actually know what I like and don't like and ask for what I want...yeah thats right I like this late bloomer thing that is happening. I  have an amazing daughter, friends, love and a goal to  enjoy life and to try as many new exciting things that I can while I can.  In the last year I have faced a few fears and started dating, gone white water rafting, walked on fire  five times, prayed in Native American sweat lodges , snow skied, did a 24 hour vision quest in the woods by myself with nothing but a sleeping bag and a few pieces of toilet paper and laughed more at myself and  life than ever before. The craziest thing I've done though is trying to understand all these terms like server, host, spam,  uploads, downloads..blah, blah, blah..why can't this d---- computer read my mind?  I hadn't even turned on a computer for years, kind of just stepped out of life and then one day got on line and on facebook.  All your old friends from high school and college ( old flames, first loves, bad loves, why did you leave me loves) right there at your fingertips. It's the old... you show me yours I'll show you mine field of unresolved emotions and loves gone wrong with the click of a pic. I love  and hate it all at the same time.

What I  do know now is that I have a choice about everything. Every happy or sad thought  is mine to choose and  with every situation I am getting better at refocusing my lens to see a life I love no matter what my circumstances. No more being a victim or  martyr and hopefully less judgmental of myself and others. I am choosing to take responsibility of my own life( stop blaming anyone and everyone for  any and everything) and make choices that make me happy. The point is living life  more in the moment, in the mystery where life actually lives,being more comfortable with not having to know the answers to everything,  dancing, singing,playing and thank God not taking myself too seriously. If any of you people see me taking myself too seriously you have my permission to do me a favor and yank my chain. I hope I laugh right back at you!

 With this new album I am letting go and having  a rockin good time!  Come join me as and have some fun as I serve up a collection of some of my favorite  songs in a Tex-Mex Mariachi Honky Tonk  fiesta platter of love!! 

 So old and new friends .. where have you been???

 


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