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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkLocal Profiles

All in the Name of Art
a profile of Raul Simental

The casually elegant ambiance of La Palapa is enhanced by the efforts of Raul Simental - who not only sings and plays his guitar in the beachside bar, but who is also the artist whose original paintings grace the walls of this gourmet restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. Born in Mexico City, Raul began his art career at the age of five, studying painting techniques at Casa de Lago Fine Art Institute. In 1968, he moved to Puerto Vallarta and met Alberto Perez, who became his lifelong friend.

Raul first became interested in music in secondary school, where he learned to play the mandolin in the school's choral group. This group helped him to develop his stage presence through public performances at Los Arcos outdoor stage. He later taught himself to play the guitar using the basic techniques that he learned in school.

In 1976 Raul returned to Mexico City to continue his art studies at the National University's School of Architecture and at La Esmeralda Institute of Fine Arts. Later, he opened an art workshop and began exhibiting his works in collective art exhibits in Taxco and Mexico City, while continuing to play his guitar and sing at festivals and other cultural events.

In 1988 he returned to Puerto Vallarta and at the request of his childhood friend, Alberto Perez, began performing at La Palapa five nights a week. In 2000 - with the help of his friends and fellow musicians Oscar Terrazas, Bob Tansen, Rigoberto Mora and Aaron Carranco - Raul recorded his first CD Rio a Mar, which features songs that are performed nightly at La Palapa's beachside bar.

Sample the music from Rual's CD Rio a Mar

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