By Hector Saldaña, Express-News columnist
Updated 10:16 am, Thursday, March 14, 2013
The 24-year-old singer is among the more than 100 performers taking part in the build-up to Tejano music concerts during Fiesta and, of course, the Tejano Music Awards in the fall.
It's nonstop music on five stages from noon-10:30 p.m. through Sunday. Admission is free. Savannah performs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the stage closest to La Margarita. She'll be hanging around El Mercado every evening signing autographs after 5.
Savannah (last name: Votion) is something different, maybe a break in the clouds that have dogged the aging genre.
Sure, she cites Stefani Montiel and Elida Reyna as her idols. But Savannah is also part of the “American Idol” generation and had the guts to act on it when the top-rated show arrived at the Alamodome for auditions last year.
Savannah tried out. She impressed judges, not with a rendition of a Selena song (though that would have been fine), but with Adele's “One and Only.”
That's not a breach of loyalty. That's a sign of courage. More important, it's a sign of the times and that's a path for the TTMA.
But being young, pretty and talented is only part of the equation. Taylor Swift didn't get to be Taylor Swift with just those attributes. Hard work and a willingness to change are among the other factors.
Savannah is showing a willingness to try. She's coming to the Market Square Tejano concert event with a real band. In the past, she was content to sing to CDs.
“I was a track act when I was younger,” Savannah explained. Her latest single is the accordion-driven “Sufro Tu Ausencia.”
He's out to change that, pairing the singer with some of Tejano's biggest stars. She's updating some songs given her by Mingo Saldivar, “fun and something different,” she explained.
“She's a fresh, new talent,” said Morones. “She's in the position to break out. She has the ability to do Tejano and mainstream and bilingual. That's where we want to go — show the versatility that she has.”
Savannah says she's ready if “a little overwhelmed by all the good stuff happening to me.”
“I just want other people to hear me for me,” she said. “All of a sudden I get back from 'American Idol' and everything starts coming really, really fast. It's crazy.”
With round after round of “American Idol” auditions (including in front of Mariah Carey) until she was cut, Savannah says she learned a big lesson: “Not to completely freak out.”