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Paola Davalos is Destined for Greatness

Photos by Ramón Hernández

Paola Edith Davalos has a voice to rival any existing established Latino diva.

This writer has heard so many vocalists interpret the hits that made them a household name throughout the Latin Hemisphere and sometime around the world, singers such as Andrea Bocelli, Rocio Durcal and numerous other singers that give their listeners goose pimples with the beauty of their voice, so it’s not every day that this callused writer is impressed.

Hence image my surprise and what is also going to be your surprise when you get the first opportunity to hear Paola sing live and as near as three feet away where one can see her face  express the sadness, passion or happiness – for now – in the intimacy of her parents north side restaurant.

“My maternal grandfather played violin and my mother, who come from a family of all girls in San Juan de Los Lagos, Jalisco, likes to sing, but that’s it,” Paola said during an interview at San Miguel Restaurant, which is owned by her parents, Víctor and María Davalos.

Paola, who will turn 17 on November 15, also hails from a family of all girls and she is the only one that loves to sing.

“As I was growing up, I once saw a couple of mariachis on TV and I liked the sound and at eight, my parents enrolled me at the Wesley Community Center, which had a mariachi program. Then my mother started looking for places where I could sing with small mariachi groups.”

Paola showed such promise that an out-of-town music producer was brought in to supervise the recording of her first compact disc in 2006.

“At twelve I joined a church children’s chorus that specialize in vocalization because I didn’t know how to pitch, how to raise my notes. It was then that I found out that I was a soprano as we harmonized and our more than thirty voices were like different instruments in an orchestra. It was beautiful because we sounded like birds happily chirping.

“It was also that first year that I was one of the three finalists in a contest held by the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. I didn’t win, but the experience reassured me that singing mariachi music on stage and in front of an audience was truly my ultimate dream and passion; and I decided that I would be singing for the rest of my life,” the songbird continued.

At thirteen, Paola entered Wheatley Middle School where she learned to play guitar in their mariachi class.

“I picked the guitar because then I would be able to make my own music and write my own songs. This is also the year that I recorded ’13 Años, 13 Éxitos’ and last year; Global Business Entertainment released ‘Para Siempre.’ And now I’m working on my fourth, the 16-year-old warbler said.

This year alone, Paola opened for Mariachi, Tecatlitlan de Rubén Cardenas and Mariachi Monumental de América de Juan José Almaguer at a Mother’s Day Festival in Oxnard, California and was also featured in Diva Tú Magazine, but she takes it all in stride.

Asked how she has managed to balance school, extra-curricular activities, recording and performing, the Brackenridge High School Junior said, “My family has been very supportive. They have guided me in every way and I couldn’t ask for more.”

A little known fact is that last year, Paola underwent a very serious surgery and that she is lucky to be alive. In regard to this, she said, “I believed my life was over, so I thank God every day for another beautiful day that I am keeping strong with my faith and for his gift of music.”

Paola is only 5-feet-3-inches tall but her powerful yet soft voice is that of a diva and her heartfelt vocal interpretations are that of a woman that has lived it all.

Her “Para Siempre” CD is a treasure to behold and one that fans will listen to over and over again for the sheer pleasure of hearing her voice, which she is now honing with voice lessons from Michelle Quintero.

Paola’s forthcoming CD, which will be released by Hacienda Records, features proven hits by Rocío Dúcal, Juan Gabriel, Roberto Carlos, Marco Antonio Solis, Jeanette Rivera and others, yet she makes all her own with banda and cambia arrangements. And going into new genres also reflects Paola’s musical growth.

Her mother, Maria, continues to guide and manager Paola’s career, but Tony Gadara, formerly with Telemundo, is now her booking agent.

To see Paola in action and wonder at her voice, one has only to go as far as the San Miguel Restaurant at 6211 San Pedro Avenue and across the street from Telemundo when she performs, there on-and-off from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information call (210) 264-2198 or 475-1109 before she becomes famous and her bookings will be at a premium.