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International Award-Winning Author to Speak at LULAC Convention


International Award-Winning Author to Speak at LULAC Convention

By Ramón Hernández

Emma González, an international award-winning author who lives in Edinburg, Texas, is one of three speakers that have been chosen to participate in a panel at this this year’s LULAC State Convention.

      Dr. Juan Tejeda, a professor at Palo Alto College, and Dr. Emilio Zamora are the other two panelists.

      As a child, she grew up in Ovid, Colorado while her migrant family toiled in the sugar beet fields. As an adult, she was inspired by Saint Mother Teresa into writing and publishing her first book “Field Mice: Memoirs of a Migrant Child” and “Field Mice: Memoirs of a Migrant Child Children’s Edition” in 2015, based on her true-life experiences as a migrant child during ten tumultuous years with her migrant parents in the 1950s and ‘60s.

     She may have waited until later in life before deciding to write, but the innate writing skills were there. The result is that both books won awards in September 2017 at the International Latino Book Awards (ILBA), known as the Academy Awards of Latino Literature and Culture in Los Angeles, chaired by Edward James Olmos. “Field Mice: Memoirs of a Migrant Child” won Most Inspirational Non-fiction Adult Novel, and the Children’s Edition won Most Inspirational Non-fiction Youth Book.

     This was Emma’s first submission to the ILBA as a first-time author. Latino authors from the U.S. and 20 Latino countries were represented in the competition.

     Aside from prestigious awards, when Little Joe read her book, he told her, “There were parts that made me cry. Then, I’d find myself laughing in the next chapter. It especially hit a chord in my heart because it was in part, like reading my own story.”

     Since then, her works have been selected by The Monitor’s Festiva Creative Writing and River Sedge: A Journal of Art & Literature published by University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, in Edinburg, Texas. She is also the 2017 “Literacy Champion” recipient, an award from South Texas Literacy Collation for her work conducting writing workshops to high school migrant students.

     González shares her life’s story with migrant students to motivate them to stay in school, to reach for the stars, and she conducts writing workshops “to help them find their voice and write their story.” For migrant parents, she offers heart felt advice from her experiences.

      González, who graduated from Edinburg High in 1972 and attended UT Pan Am, majored in Criminal Justice and ventured into successful business entrepreneurships hence touts the importance of education

      On the personal side, she lives with her supportive husband of 45 years and is close to her beloved children & grandchildren. She travels to distant places she once only read about as an isolated migrant child.

          In her sequel, “Paths of Pearls: After the Migrant Years,” Emma writes about her life when her parents finally settle in Edinburg. At the age of 15, her struggles continue after the migrant years have decimated her family and forced her to shoulder the financial burdens after her father’s death, to support her mother and herself, and fights to pursue her education and happiness. Plus, how she drew strength from her past to survive this new, unsettling life.

     This book is due for publication this year.  Ergo, González has embarked on a successful writing career. Her next tentative project is chronicling Little Joe’s early life in the fields.

     Meanwhile, she is on a book reading tour, but will take time off to make an appearance at this year’s LULAC State Convention at the Tropicana Hotel on Friday, June 1.

     To buy Emma’s book, just go to and search for “Field Mice” by Emma González.

Jean-Pierre Reveals His Alamo City Roots as He Prepares for a Comeback

EXCLUSIVE: Long Hidden Secret of Garibaldi Finally Revealed

By Ramón Hernández

Jean-Pierre Reveals His Alamo City Roots as He Prepares for a Comeback

Not only will you, the reader, learn what happened to Jean Pierre Korngold, but also one of the biggest secrets in Mexican showbiz in this exclusive interview during which he reveals a never-known fact about the “All-Mexican” musical group that performed to sold-out arenas, stadiums and festivals throughout the Latin Hemisphere and Spain. And it’s something that will make San Antonio proud.2015-JeanPierre-Sitting (3)

The original Garibaldi wore a free version of the tradition mariachi charro outfit because of the fact that their name comes from Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi, the home of numerous mariachi bands, hence the take-off of the mariachi outfit.

This musical group, created by Luis de Llano Macedo in 1989, produced five actors (Rafael Amaya, Sergio Mayer, Víctor Noriega, Charly López and Xavier Ortíz), five actresses, radio and television hosts (Patricia Manterola, Pilar Montenegro, Ingrid Coronado, Luisa Fernanda and Katia Llanos), as the Mexican version of Puerto Rico’s young, all-male Menudo singers. However these were a mix of sexy, good-looking male and female vocalists/dancers.

As Menudo, they also went through several members, who in 1998 were renamed Garibaldi XXI to indicate they were to be the 21st century version of this popular teen group. Most important is the fact that they had great pride in their nationality and were therefore touted as an all-Mexican group.

“Little did the world know that I was born in Lima, Peru to Isidoro Korngold and Mina née Grunfeld,” Jean Pierre revealed over lunch at El Ceviche de Waldito, his favorite Peruvian hangout at 5526 Evers Rd.

Jean-Pierre sang and danced along with Rafael Amaya, Agustin Arana and Stefano Bosco, who we recently learned was Italian. However, this is what we are now finding out.

“I was four months old during the devaluation of the Peruvian currency, the Sol, and my father moved the family to San Antonio.” That was this artist’s second shocker.

For seventeen years, no one knew that this internationally-famous ex-Garibaldi grew up and went to school in the Alamo City.

“That’s right, our first home was in the Turtle Creek area, I was raised here and I don’t mind being called Tex-Mex or Tejano,” Jean-Pierre said with local pride. As a matter of trivia, Jean-Pierre’s great grandfather was a Moroccan Jews and his grandparents, who were from Germany, Poland and Austria, fled to Lima, Peru to escape the war in 1939. Now he’s proud to also be identified as a Texas and San Antonio has claim to another world-famous celebrity and the following – in a nutshell — is how it all came to be.

“My mother, Mina, whom played accordion and piano by ear, loved to sing and we would sing together all the time, at home and in the car, but without my father’s knowledge. At five, my parents bought me a Kawai grand piano, but my dad’s reason for me to take lessons, was so I could entertain his clients.  Shortly thereafter, I began entering talent contests and would win every single one of them; and at six, a professor at Solomon Schechter School noticed my vocal talents.

“At ten, I won a fifth grade talent contest with ‘The Tiger Song,’ my own piano composition. And at 13, I was able to sing without having to look away from my father since I was intimidated by his mere look. But when I became a member of the Jewish congregation at my coming of age Bar Mitzvah, I sang a Hebrew song with so much emotion and so much passion, he was touched.”

After Jean-Pierre, who is fluent in Spanish, Hebrew and English, graduated from Tom C. Clark High School, he did one semester at the University of Tel Aviv, Israel and one semester at the University of Seville, Spain. Then he came back to the Lone Star state and graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) from the University of Texas at Austin because his father wanted him to follow his steps in the family’s wealth management business.

“After I graduated from UTA in the top ten percent of my class, I told dad, ‘thank you for my education, but I can, I am and I’m going to become a singer. Now I’m ready to go to New York to pursue and live out my dream and I don’t care if I have to take a bus to get there.’ This was in 1995 when my mom became paralyzed and I taught her how to walk,” Jean-Pierre continued.

Much to his son’s surprise, his father saw his determination and had a change of heart. He knew Guideon Waldrop, then the dean at the Julliard School of Music, and they flew to New York. To make a long story short, Beverly Johnson, the head of the music department, accepted the proposal for Jean-Pierre to be home-schooled with a team of Julliard professors that consisted of Pei-Wen Chau, music composition; Helen Hobbs Jordan, music theory; and Robert White, vocal training.

Mrs. Jordan, an exacting and tart-tongued music teacher who instructed generations of performers including Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Paul Simon and Melissa Manchester was 95 when she took Jean-Pierre under her wing. She died at 99.

In addition, he also took acting classes from William Esper and music composition from Doris Eugenio.

Two years later, Jean-Pierre was vacationing in the Dominican Republic with his mother when he met William “Willie” Spanbleochel, who put him in a video and promised to record a two-song demo if Jean-Pierre would go to Austria. The result was “Adios María” and “Si Puedes Entenderme” (“If You Could Read My Mind”) and while he was in Austria, Jean-Pierre went to Madrid and Galica, Spain where he met Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco and his older brother, Mohammed VI, who is now the King of Morocco, who he says, “were just like family, we became lifelong friends and I love them.”Garibaldi-Composite (3)

Demo in hand, Jean-Pierre went back to the Big Apple, dropped out of his Julliard classes and told his father that he was ready to go knock on doors in Mexico. His well-known, high-profiled business savvy father got him the plane ticket and now pushing him said, “Okay, you want to sing now? Go and paint the art.

“Thanks to my dad and my stepmother, Rosario, I got in the door to meet with Luis de Llano Macedo, who wanted to reinvent Garibaldi because all the original members had moved on to solo careers or had become actors.

A little known fact is that Llano Macedo has a San Antonio connection since it was in 1962, that the then 17-year-old started out as a technician at KWEX-TV, Channel 41.

Now getting back to our story, Jean-Pierre said, “After he heard the demo, he asked if I wanted in and of course I said ‘yes.’ That’s he started all over from the bottom, when I came in — in July 1997 along with Rafael “Rafa” Amaya, Agustin Arana and Stefano Bosco, and the female side consisted of Ana, Rebeca, Paola and Alyn.

The group needed no jump-start for fans were anxiously awaited to make the new Garibaldi XXI an overnight sensation. Dicho y hecho (Said and done), after some intense rehearsing and lessons from vocal coach Seth Riggs in Hollywood — whose clients include Luis Miguel, Barbara Streisand, Madonna, Josh Groban, Michael Bolton, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole and countless other superstars — Jean-Pierre and the group started touring all over Mexico.

“Sometimes we would do two Mexican states in one day; and we had so much business because of the hits off our first compact disc that sometimes the only sleep we would get is when we would board our private jet to go perform throughout Spain, the Caribbean, Central and South America.

For a sample of the Garibaldi fever plus to her and see Jean-Pierre in action, check out two of their hits, “Las Mujeres Dicen” at and “El Ombligito” at

“We were on the go 18 hours a day and having to do three hours of workouts at the gym because we couldn’t show one inch of fat, but when you are doing what you love, that is not work,” Jean-Pierre said.

Asked how he felt about saying he was Mexican, the muscular, six-foot-tall artist said, “The truth is that because of my father’s business, I have been going back and forth to Mexico since I was five, so I feel very Mexican. Besides, that country gave me the opportunity to enter the world of show biz. This is where I got my first break and I was so excited to live my dream. Therefore I love and thank Mexico for that.”

After almost three years of performing before tens of thousands of adoring fans screaming at the top of their lungs at the mere sight of him, or being mobbed for autographs and pictures, teen mag centerfolds, beefcake calendars, countless radio, television and newspaper interviews plus magazine covers and full-color, multi-page layouts in national publications, Jean-Pierre now yearned to be a solo artist, so on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1999, he told the group he was leaving to go on his own.

“They gave me their blessing and I was off to pursue my dream.” He was soon replaced by Ricardo (last name unknown).

Following one disappointment after another, Jean Pierre decided to fill in the gap by working for his father, where he dealt with numerous high net worth individuals and companies.

“I hated it and never could get out the fact that my soul and love for music was taken away from me.”

Along the way, there were movies offers because of his leading-man looks, but as he said, “I’ve never wanted to be an actor.”

Nonetheless, one has to financially survive and the singer-songwriter-musician-dancer eventually entered the mortgage business. Meanwhile there were intermittent sparks of hope from José Felicano’s manager, Phyllis Kietien plus César Lemos in Miami, Nora Barragan, Patrice Villastrigo and Arturo Álvarez García in Hollywood, who Jean-Pierre paid to record an eleven-song CD. However, nothing came to fruition and he continued in his lucrative business as an insurance broker.

Nevertheless, the music bug is still there and as one who loves to give back to the community Jean-Pierre has, for years, been a regular volunteer at Golden Estates as an active participant in Shabbat service, playing the piano, organizing activities and playing games with the residents. And he also did a piano recital for Lee and Dr. Philip D. Zinn, MD in honor of Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan.

While this Pisces’ vocal talent was suppressed and dormant, he says that he felt that he was like in a jail and a prisoner in his head; and now it’s time to take action by releasing his long-awaited CD on his own label.

“All of a sudden there’s a renewed interest in me and everything seems to be falling into place,” Jean-Pierre said during a second interview at the Hispanic Entertainment Archives.

The video to his first single as a solo artist, “Loco Enamorado,” can be seen at and it generated enough interest to warrant an in-depth 24-minute interview — — on TV de Houston, Canal 43.3 with Marcela Rodríguez.

     Another interesting video is a 13-minute piece taped when the entire Garibaldi group stopped to visit his mother’s house in Peru. This one is at

Yes everything is starting to click and as Jean-Pierre reiterated, “It’s not over until it’s over. Don’t ever stop fighting for your dreams and your goals. Always tell yourself, ‘I am, I can and I will.

For more information or to book Jean-Pierre, call (210) 317-2835

16-Year-Old Graduates From Texas A&M

Texas A&M Today

Texas A&M graduate Noel Jett, 16From Doogie Howser, M.D. to Sheldon Cooper, the idea of child prodigies attending college before they can get a driver’s license has often been fodder for sit-com humor. According to 16-year-old Noel Jett, who graduated this month from Texas A&M, although such situations are quirky, the profoundly gifted often struggle emotionally and she hopes to devote her professional life to helping them.Jett, a Fort Worth native, accepted her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the College of Liberal Arts’ commencement ceremony at Reed Arena on May 16.She says most of her professors and fellow students were unaware of her age, and those few in-the-know were supportive.

The Road To Early College

Jett’s unique journey to college began in kindergarten when she was already reading chapter books. When testing revealed she was gifted, her mother chose homeschooling.

“I took two college-level math classes when I was 10 [one online and one taught by a tutor],” she recalls. “When I was 12, I decided to try public school again.”

She started out well in the small, STEM-focused high school, but it “quickly became a difficult experience for me, both socially, in that some people were hateful, and academically as it was several steps backwards.” After one semester, Jett dropped out, returned to home schooling and co-enrolled at Tarrant County College.

At community college, she was able to earn the credits to finish high school and start earning college credits.

Jett at the Physics and Engineering Festival

She graduated high school at the age of 13, then applied to four universities, including Texas A&M, and was accepted by them all.

“Of the four schools, A&M was the most respectful, helpful and enthusiastic,” she notes. “Everyone I dealt with during the admissions, acceptance and enrollment process was just really nice. It was also the most affordable.”

It helped that her experience with Texas A&M began years before. “I had been attending the Physics and Engineering Festival here since I was pretty young, as well as SEE-Math camp. Even then, people were very kind and helpful.”

Being An Aggie

Jett says life as an Aggie was challenging and exciting; she took part in a number of extracurricular activities. “I really enjoyed Elephant Walk,” she recalls. “And I had an amazing time at Big Event.” She also writes for Texas A&M’s satirical newspaper, “The Mugdown,” and is a member of Cepheid Variable, a student organization comprised of science-fiction/fantasy fans.

“I helped out at AggieCon [Cepheid Variable’s annual convention] and the Aporkalypse, the end of the year celebration that includes probably 20 different meat dishes!

“But I’m most involved in Young Americans for Liberty, a political group through which I’ve been able to attend a lot of fun conferences, including one in D.C. – definitely one of my most memorable college experiences.”

Another memorable experience happened last fall when she won $25,000 on the game show “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire” during “Whiz Kids Week.”

Noel Jett on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire"

“It was so much fun,” she shares. “And it was so much money, it didn’t seem real. Like it was just numbers, not real money, even though I knew it was. The whole experience was just surreal.”

Jett has spent much of her time at Texas A&M conducting research on such subjects as gender differences in computer use. “I’ve learned so much from all the research I’ve done; it’s been interesting and really valuable. I’ve met a lot of great people,” she notes.

A Future Dedicated To Helping Others

Her interest in psychology and her experiences being profoundly gifted have inspired Jett to pursue a career advocating for gifted students and their families. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Gifted and Talented.

Noel graduating high res

And she says she’ll continue her research into the intersections between neuroscience, addiction, suicide, depression, adolescents and giftedness.

“My community faces a lot of struggles and they go unnoticed because the smart kid is seen as lucky, when really the smart kid isn’t always treated like a human,” she asserts. “Bullying is a big issue for a lot of us.”

Jett’s mother, Nancy Withers Shastid, who also started college at an early age, 16, says while she was nervous about the challenges her daughter would face attending college so young, “Noel has an intellectual vitality beyond her years, but more importantly, a social maturity and perceptiveness about people.” That, she says, made the choice for radical acceleration easier.

Jett says being gifted is “not just about being better at math, it’s a different mindset and it comes with pain and struggle. People have told me things like ‘Wow, you’re so smart, you should cure cancer!’ Why does that responsibility fall on me? That’s not my field. Of course they don’t mean any harm, but I don’t want to be compared to a TV character.”

Shastid says she’s of course overwhelmed with pride for her daughter’s intellectual gifts, but says what she’s most proud of “is her desire to serve others, whether it be on a church mission trip, at a homeless shelter, or just being a friend to those in need.”

10-Year-Old Graduates High School


Tanishq Abraham has accomplished more at age 10 than many students twice his age.

The Sacramento, California, native received his high school diploma last weekend, becoming one of the youngest ever to graduate high school in the United States.

Home schooled since the age of 7, Tanishq passed a state exam in March that certified he had met the appropriate academic standards to receive his diploma.

“It wasn’t easy because of the bureaucracy, but I have put a lot of hard work into this and I am very happy that I am finally graduating high school,” Tanishq told ABC News.

Abraham is powering ahead, scoring well on the SATs and finishing up the community college classes he has been taking since he was 7 years old. “I am going to finish my community college by almost next semester and then I will have my associate’s degree, after that I will transfer to university,” he said.

Tanishq says he would like to transfer to UC Davis to study medicine. “It would be nice if I could go to a place like M.I.T., it would be really great but I am so young so I can’t stay in the dorms over there,” he said.

In kindergarten, Tanishq says he realized he had a special gift.

“I could read books that were meant for second and third graders, I was also able to do math like second and third graders,” Tanishq said. “I actually like to learn, I guess it just comes more naturally to me than to others.”

Tanishq says his favorite subject is science but says he also enjoys other subjects like history and social studies. “I also kind of like math,” he added. He became a member of MENSA, an international society for those with high IQs, at the age of 4.

His mother Taji Abraham says she decided to home school her son because he was too far advanced for his grade level, and that other students had begun to tease him and steal his belongings.

“We did not want to hold him back,” Abraham told ABC News, adding that the family provides Tanishq with opportunities to socialize with kids his own age through extracurricular activities such as boys chorus and swim classes.

“I really like home school,” Tanishq said. “I know that a lot of people think that with home school you don’t get the social interactions, but I have lots of extracurricular activities such as singing classes.”

“Even two of my friends came to my high school graduation from San Francisco Boys Chorus,” he added.

Taji Abraham said she was nervous at first about her son sharing a college classroom with students twice his age. “It was a little scary for us, the first couple of times I was there with him, but going through the first two classes it gave me the confidence that he could handle it,” she said.

“He’s a very social child, he gets along well with everyone,” Abraham added.

Tanishq even received a letter from President Obama lauding his accomplishment.

“Congratulations on your graduation. This special occasion is the culmination of years of study, and I am pleased to join your family and friends in celebrating this milestone,” it read.

For Tanishq, for whom the future looks particularly bright, the White House may indeed figure in his aspirations.

“I would like to be a doctor, but I haven’t decided what type of doctor I’ll be,” Tanishq said when asked about his career plans. “Also a medical researcher, and president.”

by:  Ben Waldron

Youth and the Future Golden Gloves

Youth and the Future Golden Gloves

Story by Joseph Martinez & Yvonne Sandoval

At the San Fernando gym you find friends and family together striving to be better at the sport of “Amateur Boxing”

I met Jessie Rodriguez, father and boxing coach for his two sons Jessie 14 and Joshua 19.   Joshua  is ranked #2 Light Fly Weight National Champion.

I was also introduced to Chris Ramos father and coach to his three boys Joshua 13, Jason 17 and Cresencio 19.  Cresencio currently holds the #2 Lightweight National Championship.

I asked,  “Guy’s… have any of your boys sustained any injuries?“   “not really”  replied one of the dads. “Maybe a cut over the eye,  that’s about the worse it has been, said the other. “   “I believe you have a higher chance of getting injured playing football” , replied Jesse Rodriguez. Boxing builds their self-esteem and self-discipline.  The mothers of the boys are very proud of their son’s achievements in boxing and when I asked, “ How do the mom’s like this sport for their sons?”

Both coaches at the same time said,  “Awww.. .….The wives LOVE IT! They are really in to it .

Boxing takes the boys away from home for competitions many times during the year, so families travel together sometimes for a whole week.  Looking at the young boxers ages how do they handle school?

Jessie said, “ I have them enrolled in a home school River City Academy .”  The boys visit their teacher regularly in which they receive lessons in the academic subjects.

Chris stated,  “My oldest boy is going to attend UTSA after high school and my other boys are enrolled in the traditional high and middle schools here in San Antonio.”

When training for a match how do your boys prepare themselves?  One thing is they  watch what they eat.  They include more protein like chicken and do not eat greasy foods and  they cut the sugar.

Will they be going pro or staying at a  amateur status?   When do you make that move?  “That depends on the boys”,  said the dads.   “Turning pro is tough going at first,  you make  barely  enough to  cover expenses for travel, food and lodging but, it should get a bit easier  after the first 10 fights when the purse gets larger.”

“When we are on the road. we share rooms to save some money. It seems like we are always on the road and broke but It’s for the love of the sport and the kids”,  stated Jesse.

One thing is evident,  these talented young men are Focused and Dedicated.

Photos by: Joseph Martinez

River City Attractions




33rd Annual Tejano Music Awards Winners

Saturday 10-19-2013 @ 11:45 P.M.

Congratulations to the WINNERS of the 33rd Annual Tejano Music Awards

Song of Year/Artist/Group

Mi Mundo Se Acabo – Siggno


Male Vocalist of the Year

Ricky Valenz


Female Vocalist of the Year

Elida Reyna


Entertainer of the Year

Jesse Turner


Album of the Year – Tejano

Contigo Descubri – Elida Reyna y Avante


Album of the Year – Conjunto

Back on Track – Los Hermanos Farias


Album of the Year – Norteño

El Mundo Se Acabo – Siggno


Album of the Year – Gospel

Una Simple Oracion – Javier Galvan


Vocal Duo of the Year

Ricky Valenz with Lupe Moreno – Por El Amor De Una Mujer


Best New Artist – Male

Gabriel Zavala


Best New Artist – Female

Cacy Savala


Best New Artist – Group

La Calma


Lifetime Achievement Award

Carlos Guzman

Paulino Bernal

33rd Annual Tejano Music Awards

Top Five Nominees

This year’s ceremonies set for October 19, 2013 at the Lila Cockrell Theatre

San Antonio, TX (10-11-2013) Texas Talent Musicians Association (TTMA), producers of the 33rd Annual Tejano Music Awards Show, has named the top contenders for awards in 13 categories at this year’s ceremonies, set for Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the historic Lila Cockrell Theatre.


Nominees include fan favorites Jay Perez, Shelly Lares, Michael Salgado, Ruben Ramos, AJ Castillo, David Lee Garza y Los Musicales, David Marez, Solido, Ricardo Castillon, Linda Escobar, Los Hermanos Farias, Los Garcias Brother, Texmaniacs, Grupo Siggno and Elida Reyna. While Reyna, named in five categories, leads with the most nominations, vocalist/accordionist Jesse Turner of Grupo Siggno, comes close with recognition in four categories; two with Grupo Siggno and two for his individual efforts. Two new categories added to the awards slate is best album Norteno and Gospel showcasing the diversity of subgenres of Tejano music. 


Special Lifetime Achievement Award honorees include Paulino Bernal and Carlos Guzman. Considered musical trendsetters of the 20th Century, both gentlemen played a major role within the Conjunto and Tejano humble beginnings and success.


Incredible  live performances are planned at the 33rd Annual Tejano Music Awards, including: Grupo Siggno, Jay Perez, Elida Reyna, Michael Salgado, Stefani Montiel, Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz, Ricky Valenz,Cacy Savala, Gary Hobbs, Javier Galvan, Ram Herrera, Zamorales, Joe Vic Reyna y Los Kumbacheros, Saraly y La Promesa, La Conquista, Ruido Anejo,Tierra Tejana, Los Bad Apples, Monica Castro, Gabriel, Lety Guval, Zavala and a special performance by Sebastien De La Cruz, known as “El Charro de Oro” and Jose Luis Davila  with other surprises.


A Red Carpet Gala will precede the awards show where fans and media can greet the artists upon their arrival for Tejano music’s biggest night of the year, confirmed to walk the carpet Stephanie Lynn, DJ Kane, Ricky Rick and many more.


For tickets to the 2013 Tejano Music Awards Show visits  Prices range from $25 to $100 for VIP seating. For the latest updates and announcements on the 33rd Annual Tejano Music Awards check the official TMA website at:



WHO:      Texas Talent Musicians Association (TTMA), producers of the Tejano Music Awards


WHAT:    33rd Annual Tejano Music Awards – honoring and recognizing the achievements of Tejano Music artists


WHERE:  Lila Cockrell Theatre; 200 E. Market; San Antonio, Texas 78205


 WHEN:    Saturday, October 19, 2013; Red Carpet begins @ 5:15 to 6:15pm; Show starts @ 7pm

Texas Talent Musicians Association is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization whose purpose is to promote professional excellence; a better understanding and greater appreciation for Tejano music; and to provide a public forum for songwriters, performers and musicians in order to recognize their artistic efforts and achievements through the annual Tejano Music Awards and related events. Texas Talent Musicians Association is based in San Antonio, Texas: “The Tejano Music Capital Of The World.”®

Top 5 Nominees for this year’s 33rd Annual Tejano Music Awards are…….


Song of the Year

Bailamos y Platicamos – Jimmy Gonzalez y Mazz
Como Amar – Ricky Valenz
Dejate Amar – Elida Reyna
Mi Mundo Se Acabo – Siggno
No Vale La Pena – Ricardo Castillon y La Diferenzia

Male Vocalist of the Year

Jay Perez
Jesse Turner
Ram Herrera
Ricardo Castillon
Ricky Valenz

Female Vocalist of the Year

Elida Reyna
Linda Escobar
Monica Castro
Shelly Lares
Stefani Montiel

Entertainer of the Year

AJ Castillo
Elida Reyna
Jesse Turner
Shelly Lares
Stefani Montiel

Album of the Year – Tejano

All for You – Ricardo Castillon y La Diferenzia
Contigo Descubri – Elida Reyna y Avante
New Horizons – Jay Perez
Voz De Oro – David Marez
Y Ahora Aqui – David Lee Garza y Los Musicales

Album of the Year – Conjunto

2012 – Los Fantasmas del Valle
Ando Que Me Lleva – Boni Mauricio y Los Maximos
Back on Track – Los Hermanos Farias
Cuando Yo Te Conoci – Los Garcia Brothers
Texas Towns & Tex-Mex Sounds – Los Texmaniacs

Album of the Year – Norteño

Buscando Amor – Michael Salgado
El Mundo Se Acabo – Siggno
Mas Solido Mas Norteno – Solido

Album of the Year – Gospel

A Dios La Honra – Trino Paiz
Bob Gallarza Presents – Jorge David Marroquin – Caminos Del Alma
Bob Gallarza Presents Gabriel – Raices del Cruzando Fronteras – David Allen
Una Simple Oracion – Javier Galvan

Vocal Duo of the Year

David Farias with Joe Farias – Los Albaniles
Elida Reyna with Jose Zamora – Contigo Descubri
Hugo Guerrero with Ruben Ramos – Subele
Jimmy Gonzalez with Margarita – Bailamos y Platicamos
Ricky Valenz with Lupe Moreno – Por El Amor De Una Mujer

Best New Artist – Male

Angel Gonzales – Angel y Vimana
Braulio Rodriguez – Braulio y Fuzzion
Gabriel Zavala
Joe Vic – Joe Vic Reyna y Los Kumbacheros
Juaquin Cura

Best New Artist – Female

Audi Castillon Portales – Audi Y Zentimiento
Cacy Savala
Crystal Torres
Ilyssa Saenz
Tejano RoZe – Tejano RoZe y La Nueva Sensacion

Best New Artist – Group

Grupo Maldad
La Calma
Tejano Funk
Tejano Sound Band

Texas Talent Musicians Association is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization whose purpose is to promote professional excellence; a better understanding and greater appreciation for Tejano music; and to provide a public forum for songwriters, performers and musicians in order to recognize their artistic efforts and achievements through the annual Tejano Music Awards and related events. Texas Talent Musicians Association is based in San Antonio, Texas: “The Tejano Music Capital Of The World.”®


Noé Benitez’s “Subele” Chosen for High School Marching Bands

NoeBenitezPhoto by Ramón Hernández

Songwriter-musician Noé A. Benitez recently teamed with a group of Tejano living legends to take Tejano music to high school students through “Subele,” a tune that he wrote and was commissioned to arrange for marching bands.

The tune, which was originally recorded by Hugo Guerrero and also featured Rubén Ramos, Vick Nash and Wild Bill Perkins, became a hit and is now being performed by over 25 marching bands across Texas.

As Benitez said, “One of my mentors as a music mentor, Eddie Galván, believed that to keep our kids out of the streets and out of trouble, we have to keep them in music programs in the school. So we are now trying to keep them further engaged by providing Tejano music for the school curriculum with something they can further relate to.”

“The ‘Subele’ marching band arrangement was commissioned by our publisher because some of my band director friends were requesting it to be performed as a ‘stand tune’ during this football season.”

“As a former music educator, I thought it would be a noble idea to take the opportunity to introduce more Tejano music into the curriculum.”

One of the reasons Benitez is so gun-ho about today’s students learning more about Tejano music is because he grew up as a member of a migrant working family, who each year traveled from Texas to California and they packed and took their vinyl records, cassettes and 8-track tapes everywhere they went. Most other Mexican American families that did the same thus came to consider Tejano music as the music of the working class.

Unfortunately new Tejano music lacks the same level of representation since Tejano seems to be overshadowed by highly accessible main stream music genres readily available due to present day technology and media.

“Times have changed and I feel like our youth does not get a fair chance to be introduced to our culture and music, much less maintain a tradition; and I figured that bringing Tejano music to the schools could be a way to reach out to our youth,” the saxophone playing lawyer continued.

“Having the arrangement in hand, it was easier to contact my band director friends and offer them the tune as a new song for marching bands to perform at halftime during this football season. So far I hear that the kids are really enjoying playing ‘Subele’ and to me, that gives me a sense of accomplishment in my mission to expand our youth’s horizons as to our music.”

To help Benitez in the accomplishment of his goal, Guerrero and Ramos have invited high school band members to join them onstage to get a taste of what it feels like to perform Tejano music. As an example, one can see René Garcia introduce members of the Rosenberg, Texas Mighty Mustang Band as they prepare to perform “La Pollera Colorá” with the Mexican Revolution at

The icing on the cake came when “Subele” was nominated as “Duo of The Year” at this year’s Tejano Music Awards.

Noé Benitez is at far rightWhile the former school band director considers himself and up and coming songwriter, the fact that Tejano Soul recorded eight of his compositions and he was just nominated for a Latin Grammy contradicts his most-humble opinion. The Latin Grammy nomination is for his work with children’s music artist, Lucky Díaz, of the Family Jam Band as the composer and produced of “Fantastico!.”

Now Benitez, who co-owns the Ben Mar Music publishing company, now formed his own production company and is writing brand new material for new up and coming Tejano talent.

“Tejano female vocalist Phoebe is recording one of my songs, as well as some of her original works, for a compact disc that is being produced by Hugo Guerrero; and there’re a couple more new artists, who have already recorded some of my compositions and that I will be promoting.”


For information on how to obtain his special musical arrangement of “Subele” for your school band, one may contact Benitez at (713) 820-0168 or e-mail him at

Noé Benitez is at far right

It’s Grand Parent’s Day @ Pre-K for 4 SA

It’s Grand Parent’s Day @ Pre-K for 4 SA north side education center.

To see the excitement on your grandchild eyes: it’s priceless.

The simple act of making a hand print or reading a story makes their day. Looking around I saw nothing but smiles, not only on the kids, but the grand parents as well.

From my experience from my grandchild, learning to tell the difference of shapes to counting numbers. This was an opportunity to see firsthand, the wonderful way San Antonio newest program at work.  It’s giving our youngest a great head start on the road of education.

The money spent will pay large dividends in many ways.  Basically a better educated person makes a better community.

Thank you Mayor Julian Castro

And thank you San Antonio.

Story and pictures by: Joseph Martinez         River City Attractions

San Antonio Luminaria 2013

San Antonio Luminaria 2013

Story and photos by Joseph Martinez

Rain ,Rain stay away and it did. For the folks who braved the cool night they were treated to an amazing evening loaded with the sight, sound and the aroma of food lingering in the air. Walking the park grounds I came to a opinion wishing there were  two of me so I can see and enjoy twice as much. There were 6 stages and over 600 artist.

The LANGTON DRIVE band caught my attention they were playing by the Tower of the America’s. With the look and the flavor of Joan Jett , this rock-punk like band had the crowd hopping.  With matching pink ties and black shirts these young rockers have a bright future in music. More info?

The next band I ran across was the HARES, a well season- 6 member band that play a wide range of music. Like rock and Latino with a jazzy feel. (Wish I had more time to listen to them) more info?!/TheHares

The Jazz POETS of San Antonio with the jazz poetry band backing them up helps to keep  them on track. Performing at U.N.A.M. building; at times there was only standing room. The Talent was not short in demand, spoken in English and in Spanish it was just right for the night. More info?

Walking and enjoying the sites I came across “Saint Apophenia” it was shining on the wall. What the heck is that?  Check it out on line

Proxy Theatre Group did some short and powerful acting using limited props. It felt like being in theatre in the round. Need to know more?    or

At the Valero stage,The Invincible Czars, an  Austin  rock band was on tap to please  everyone. The group  did their modernized arrangements of classical composers and some original songs as well. Beautiful, sometime haunting sounds. Playing to the back drop of an old black and white  movie. Do you want to see more about them? or


The Tower of the Americas was flooded in lights looking as if it was freshly painted. Tents illuminated from the inside out giving the illusion of a ghost like people looking out windows (A little creepy)

All around, you would see family, couples and groups of friends roaming the different venues and enjoying the sights.  At times I would accidently bump in to someone and what I mainly heard was “I’m sorry” or “Excuse me.” This  friendliness in general is just part of what makes San Antonio a large town with a small town feeling.

This review of “Luminaria 2013” shows only a small amount. Truly, it is something that one must experience in person

With so many sites to see, Do yourself a favor for “Luminaria 2014”. Grab a map and a list of events ,mark the MUST SEE artist and prepare yourself for a night of excitement.

See ya next year!

Joseph Martinez

River City Attractions




SAN ANTONIO (March 8, 2013) – The Sixth Annual Luminaria will take place Saturday, March 9, 2013 in HemisFair Park and downtown San Antonio from 7 p.m. to midnight.  Luminaria will take place, rain or shine.  However, in the event of rain, music and art installations will be moved inside the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the indoor venues in HemisFair Park will also be open.

 “We are confident that, rain or shine, San Antonio’s Sixth Annual Luminaria will be a night to remember,” says Richard Rosen, Artistic Director of Luminaria.  

 Luminaria is San Antonio’s annual celebration of art and artists, and this year marks the sixth anniversary of the arts event. Luminaria is a free event that showcases all art forms in both indoor and outdoor settings in downtown San Antonio. Over 600 artists will showcase original works of art and performances specifically created for Luminaria.

 “This annual celebration of the arts has become a hallmark event, showcasing San Antonio as a creative and contemporary art and music hub,” says San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.  “I  want to invite everyone to come and experience an extraordinary Luminaria event that takes place in HemisFair Park and areas throughout  our vibrant downtown.”

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Richard Rosen, Associate Directors Kathy Armstrong and Mellissa Marlowe and the Luminaria Steering Committee selected 90 artists and groups with the best original installations and performances within six artistic disciplines (Dance, Literary, Media, Music, Theatre and Performance, and Visual).

Through one night of arts, we seek to re-imagine downtown San Antonio as a canvas for enlightened, innovative, edgy, surprising, and interactive contemporary artwork from all artistic disciplines.

 About Luminaria

Luminaria is San Antonio’s annual celebration of art and artists.  Held annually in March and overseen by San Antonio’s creative leaders, Luminaria is a free event that showcases all art forms in an outdoor setting in downtown San Antonio. Luminaria spotlights the region’s cultural assets for local citizens and visitors alike and is made possible through the generosity of artists, arts organizations, volunteers, and public and private donations. Launched in 2008, the event drew 315,000 people to downtown San Antonio last year alone.

 Luminaria’s name is San Antonio’s adaptation of “White Nights”, originally conceived in Paris, France in 2002, in an attempt to bring contemporary art to the masses in public spaces, while inspiring dialogue and engaging the public to examine its significance and impact on public space. For more information, please visit Like Luminaria on Facebook at or follow Luminaria on Twitter @LuminariaSA.