Fernando Gonzales is the leader of the band Piel Canela which has become one of the most popular flamenco rumba bands in Puerto Vallarta in the last few years. Fernando loved guitar from a very early age, playing mostly for his church and family. Some nine years ago, when he was working at Garbos Piano Bar, where they were very fond of him as a waiter, he was encouraged by the owners to get out his guitar and play. A couple of friends soon joined him, and that was the beginning of Piel Canela. Right then, he knew music would be his career.
Later Fernando met Kim Kuzma and Eduardo Leon and began playing with them. They were great mentors for him both in the musical and business aspects of his career. He then was introduced to the famous diva Amy Armstrong, and they have been a formidable musical team over the past four years.
However, for Fernando, his music and his band lay at the forefront of his ambitions. Playing several very successful summers in Canada, he was able to concentrate on honing his skills at creating and managing his career. When he returned to Puerto Vallarta in the Fall of 2018, he was already on his way. He gathered together musicians he admired and trusted, and his excellent management skills kicked in to form a superb and loyal band of top-notch musicians.
Jose “Pepe” Galván, an incredible bassist, is his right-hand man and performs with him even at smaller events. His full band is augmented by his friend and esteemed guitarist, Alberto “Mimi” Ramirez, who rocks the group with his excellent electric and acoustic guitar playing. The very talented Gary Flores Morales following in the footsteps of his revered musical family, is no doubt one of the best percussionists Puerto Vallarta has to offer. Accomplished cellist and percussionist Luis Rascón carries with him an excellent artistic reputation from Mexico City, where his family of renowned music professionals provided him with excellent guidance. Fernando has moved more into the showman role and provides vocals and guitar in the new group.
Piel Canela puts on a thrilling show at the Palm Cabaret Theater every Friday evening at 7:30 pm to very enthusiastic crowds. The Palm Cabaret and Bar is located at 508 Olas Altas in Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone. Tickets to all shows can be purchased at the venue’s box office or online at www.thepalmcabaret.com.
Piel Canela has recently produced an excellent CD and soon will introduce a new CD with the talented Amy Armstrong. Fernado also has in his future a solo CD of excellent guitar music, which continues to be his passion.
In addition to The Palm Cabaret on Friday nights, Piel Canela entertains audiences at Nacho Daddy on Basilio Badillo with Amy Armstrong Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings at 9:00 pm. They also play dinner shows at No Way Jose several nights a week. And to the delight of residents of southern Nayarit, they frequently perform at Tree House Bar in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.
Performing Rumba, Jazz, Funk, Mariachi and Popular music, Piel Canela is one of Vallarta’s favorite Latin Bands. Continuing to play with some of Zona Romantica’s top artists, they are incredible on their own, as well. Delivering favorite American tunes, Latin classics and world music, this is the band to see for a musical taste of Mexico that completely satisfies! And for those who were wondering the meaning of the name Piel Canela, it translates “brownish skin.”
Debbie White Entertainment Writer/Reviewer
By: Christie Ann Seeley (vallartasounds.com)
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