Portrait of an Artist: Fernando Gonzalez

At a mere 32 years of age, Fernando Gonzalez has drawn together some of the best talents in Puerto Vallarta for his band Piel Canela. In addition to his excellent vocal and guitar skills, Fernando has proven to be a great producer.


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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 he 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 met the famous diva Amy Armstrong, and they have formed a formidable 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 concentrated 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. Alberto “Mimi” Ramirez, a friend and talented guitarist, rocks the group with his excellent electric and acoustic guitar playing. The very gifted Gary Flores Morales, following in the footsteps of his revered musical family, is undoubtedly one of the best percussionists Puerto Vallarta has to offer. Accomplished cellist and percussionist Luis Rascón carries 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 vocals in the new group and puts on great shows at the best venues in Puerto Vallarta.

For the 2021 season, Fernando has many engagements. Nacho Daddy on Basilio Badillo has become a favorite. Tuesday evenings, his band Piel Canela does a stunning performance as Mexi Gipsy Band beginning at 8:00 PM. He is back with the incredible Amy Armstrong as Duo Dorado on Wednesdays and Saturdays, beginning at 7:30 PM. You can find him at Garbos Piano Bar at 10:00 PM on Saturday nights with his friend and mentor, Eduardo Leon, showing off their guitar skills for a happy audience.

As a special bonus during this fragile period, Duo Dorado is doing an exciting live steaming from their Facebook page every Friday at 7:30 central time. They are taking special requests the two preceding days, so get ready!
Fernando produced an excellent CD with Piel Canela has other projects on the way. In his future, he also has a solo CD of fantastic guitar music, which continues to be his passion. Check out his Facebook page for more details and see my website vallartasounds.com for a calendar of events as we progress through this exciting season.

By Christie Seeley
vallartasounds.com

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