Published on December 24th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
Bohemia Viva: Argentina Style & Latin Music in Puerto Vallarta
You wouldn’t necessarily expect to hear a great Argentine musical group during a visit to Mexico. But during my recent trip to attend the city’s annual international food festival, I had the good fortune to hear a live performance by a duet from Argentina, during the opening night gala event on the lovely beach at the Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta.
The group, Bohemia Viva, is a vocal duet formed by Luis Lujan, who is from Cordoba, and Andrea Mottura, who is originally from Santa Fe. This talented pair impressed me so much — and intrigued me, since they’d moved all the way from Argentina to Puerto Vallarta — that I decided I needed to interview them.
The duo is now releasing a new DVD of international music, from an acoustic session. In this exclusive interview, Luis and Andrea shared their thoughts on music, Mexico and Argentina.
How do you compare Córdoba to Puerto Vallarta?
Cordoba is a Mediterranean city, very far from the ocean, with 2.5 million inhabitants who for the most part live on commerce, although there are tourist zones. In comparison, Vallarta has 150,000 inhabitants and exists based on tourism, which allows it to have a lot of potential so that many local and foreign artists can come to present their shows here during the city’s high season for tourism, which is mostly during the winter.
What do you like most about Cordoba?
It has the comforts of a big city, with places to go at any hour of the day, with many options for every necessity. It has the rhythm, movement and agility of large capital cities.
What do you like most about Puerto Vallarta?
We love the scenery, the vibe that exists among the people who are here, and being able to see things in nature that aren’t seen in big cities like Cordoba — for example, the vastness of its jungles and the immensity of the Pacific Ocean, t he exotic plants and animals are all impressive.
What’s the music scene like in Puerto Vallarta?
Puerto Vallarta’s musical scene is in growth mode; it’s developing, with entertainment that aims for an international standard of quality. With an ever-greater awareness of professionalism under the gaze of a public from different cultures and nations, it’s fantastic and enriching — and at the same time the demands to reach those standards is a true challenge.
How did you end up in Puerto Vallarta?
We were lucky enough to visit various concert halls in Mexico, some of which have a very interesting technique and offer excellent locations for staging. In the cities where you’d least expect it, we’ve discovered great audiences and venues. We were in San Miguel de Allende, Querétaro, Celaya and the Bajío Mexicano, in addition to — of course — Mexico City.
In general, in Vallarta there is a great opportunity to enjoy the particularities of every culture and artistic level. In February 2013 we participated in Gala Vallarta, which was the first of the large events that we’ve done in this city. It was impressive to see so many people listening to us, the imposing ocean behind us and the pier illuminated was an unforgettable image.
On the other hand, the International Gourmet Festival on November 14 of this year was a great experience, because we had the luck to be able to connect musically with very distinct backgrounds, which reminded us once again of the universal magic of music. The same thing happened yesterday in the anniversary party for Cafe des Artistes; it was very exciting being able to transmit our happiness about being there to the people who attended.
What are some of your favorite music venues in Puerto Vallarta?
In the Olas Altas neighborhood, the Old Town, there are various places designed to offer different types of shows — theater halls, cabarets, places to enjoy a drink or dinner with very different types of musical styles. And it’s just a matter of arriving in the center of the Old Town and look at the windows of the businesses [to see] an infinite number of artistic presentations, seven days a week, from 5pm on.
How would you describe the evolution of Argentinian music?
The music of Argentina has a long history and is very diverse, depending on the region. Internationally, the tango is one of the best-known genres, although in the interior of the nation, folk music dominates. Domestic rock also has taken an important space in our culture since the 1960s, and from there we can name many other musical styles present in the nation: reggae, jazz, bolero, electronic music, cumbia and punk.
And what about Mexican music?
Mexican music is infused with diverse influences, and it’s a foundation of the culture of the nation. In our experience, the people conserve their musical roots; they like to participate in musical expression in a natural way.
How would you describe Puerto Vallarta’s culinary scene?
There’s an infinite variety of gastronomic offerings in Vallarta, for every palate — Indian, Spanish, Italian, French — hundreds of restaurants with a great variety of gastronomic styles. Several of them are world-famous for their conceptualization and for their renowned chefs.
MORE MEXICO TRAVEL TIPS:
• Kiss, Shake Hands, Fly: How to Swim with Dolphins in Puerto Vallarta
• HOTEL REVIEW: Fiesta Americana —Stunning Views in Puerto Vallarta
• “My Puerto Vallarta” — Travel Tips from Don Pickens of Casa Cupula Hotel