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Local musician on the rise


Kendal O’Connor

CAVE CREEK – Stephanie Chacon, a local musician that has lived in Cave Creek for over 20 years, is making a name for herself playing shows every week in coffee shops and bars all over the valley.

At 29, Chacon has been playing for over 15 years and has been influenced by many other artists, but has developed a distinct singer-songwriter style almost reminiscent of British sensation Adele. Producer George James described Chacon as “an artist of considerable depth.”

Chacon grew up in a household of musicians, listening to everything from bluegrass to bossa nova jazz; suffice it to say that music is just in her blood. She picked up her first guitar at 13 years old and, “it stuck.”

Chacon sings, plays guitar, and writes her own songs, drawing inspiration from other artists such as Amy Winehouse, Norah Jones, and John Mayer, but manages to preserve a genuine sound that’s all her own.

“[Songwriting] can come from anything honestly, I don’t feel like it could be put into a box,” Chacon said. “There isn’t a specific method, I think that songs come to you in different ways. No song is really written the same way; it’s just based on the moment.”

Chacon said that she has been “blessed to meet a lot of different artists,” and that one of the best things about being a musician is connecting with other people.

“I feel like the main person that’s really pushing me right now is George James,” Chacon said. “He’s really the person that took me to the next step.”

Chacon and James met two years ago in a local coffee shop. Since then, James has acted as her producer, vocal coach, and friend, aiding in her growth as an artist.

James said it was “the depth and universality of the music” that initially caught his attention, as well as her “exceptional musicianship.”

“She has grown tremendously as an artist, she’s just blossomed,” James said.

Together they are recording her first EP, scheduled to release early this spring. Chacon said that James helps her look at her music from a different perspective, and “has an ear for something” she doesn’t have.

Another musician she often collaborates with is her younger brother, Alex Chacon.

Although they grew up in the same household, Alex comes from a different style of music: he plays electric guitar and is influenced by metal and progressive rock. But you would never know the difference listening to them play in perfect harmony, Stephanie crooning into the microphone and Alex skillfully plucking away at an acoustic guitar.

“We get together and it’s fun, we do songs that I wouldn’t do on my own,” Stephanie Chacon said.

The duo plays weekly at a number of local hang outs in Cave Creek, including the Hideaway, Janey’s, and Local Jonny’s, but is branching out to more venues across the valley, recently booking at show at the prestigious Wright Bar in the Arizona Biltmore resort.

“Every [venue] is different, but we have a big family here in Cave Creek. When we play here all the locals come out,” Chacon said.

“Her voice is like candy,” Cassie O’Grady, a Cave Creek resident, said. “I love watching new people experience her for the first time.”

Although she feels at home performing locally, Chacon said she’s just going to keep playing in new places in order to grow and evolve as a musician.

“[Music] is everything; it’s the universal language,” she said. “You spend a lifetime building these connections.”

Even though one day Chacon hopes to venture out of the little town of Cave Creek, it will always be her home. Until then, she’s taking a leap of faith and following her passion for music.

“I don’t know where it’s going to take me, but living my life to the fullest and living my passion is the most important thing,” she said.