(In his own words)
“Music is universal.” This mantra motivates me and drives my music career.
Hello, my name is Ricardo Duque, and music is my life. I don't just “sing to live, I live to sing.” Since I was a young boy I've had the good fortune to pursue this dream. Day by day I do nothing else but live dedicated to this great profession.
My first steps were in the National Conservatory of Music in Quito, Ecuador, my proud country of origin. My studies developed in the Bel canto (beautiful singing) style of music, better known as Italian opera classical music. Although I specialized in this type of music, I was able to cross over and develop my musical skills in Pop music and Latin Rock. I then joined Sombras de Arena, a Latin Rock group that at the time was well-defined and satisfied my music ambitions.
En route on a trip to Italy, I happened to stop in Los Angeles, California for a couple of months. Without knowing it, this would eventually be my new home for the next six years. While in Los Angeles it was my pleasure to be introduced to, and closely involved with, traditional Mariachi music. Performing Mariachi music has become my passion.
The first months in this country were very difficult and challenging for me, not only because of the language barrier, but also because musically-wise, my music styles were not popular with most people in the Los Angeles Latino community.
In order to continue with my dream of a music career, one day my father told me, “Why don't we go to the famous El Mercadito of East Los Angeles and have you sing with the Mariachi?” My life changed from that day on and just like I had assumed before, there won't be a defined-type of music for me due to the fact that my love and respect towards the Mariachi and Banda music are the same that I feel towards the Cumbia, Boleros, Pop, Rock, and all of the other types of music that hold my attention.
The simple fact that one is able to do more than one type of musical style and to do it with the respect and the correct touch to each one of them makes the musicians a great interpreter, without musical barriers.
In my preparation for study of the Ranchera music, I was honored to have as one of my teachers, Mr. Heriberto Molina a former vocalist of one of the foremost Mariachis in the world - El Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. Mr. Molina not only showed me how to interpret the Ranchera music, but he also showed me to live and learn from the Mexican culture such as their traditions, customs, beliefs, and how to wear each one of the Charro suits and their corresponding sombreros.
That education made my love towards the Mexican culture grow incredibly. And please note that in Ecuador, the music and culture of Mexico was well known, as we think of El Cine de Oro Mexicano where it crossed all over the world with great movies and songs interpreted by great singers such as the great Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante, Javier Solis, and others.
One of the most important things that I will always remember from this great man, Mr. Molina, is that every time I would mention of how great of an honor it was for me to interpret the Ranchera music, he would immediately interrupt and say, “No, no, no. To me as a Mexican it is an honor to have someone from a different country love, appreciate, and sing my music the way you do.”
Little by little the Mariachi music has become a big and special part of my life and, just like Don Heriberto Molina used to say, the Charro suits should be worn with delicacy and respect. I sure learned how to properly carry that on day by day. One day at a performance, Rosenda Bernal, a great Mexican singer, made a comment about how, even though I was not Mexican, I sure knew how to wear the Charro suit so good and how great it looked on me.
Within my experience I also have the honor to have met Mr. Gilberto Palomino, a great horse trainer, who has taught me so much in the past years. We have been training to perform the popular “Jaripeos” and shows with the horses. I've learned how to ride the horse, how to make him dance, and much more.
I will never forget the words of my father in a moment of frustration and confusion and it was very difficult for me to accommodate to the new change of musical style. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “My son, the Mariachi is like the Opera of the Pueblo.” Not only was his statement true, but, within the popular music, I don't think there is such beautiful and complicated songs to sing such as the Mariachi music; that, of course, if you sing them with your heart.
Every single one of the styles of music that I sing, I try to interpret the best that I can without leaving anything to misinterpretation.
This is Ricardo Duque, a consummate lover of music, eager to make his dream touch millions of people's hearts and who is sure of making this happen, who is constantly searching for that “one” opportunity to make that dream come true and never let go of it.
is represented by
Walters & Associates International Company
733 N. La Brea Avenue, Suite # 201
Los Angeles, CA. 90038-3348
Phone: (323) 933-8780 Fax: (323) 933-2048