Born in the port of Veracruz, Mexico, Rafael Palomar began playing in the Plaza Garibaldi with different groups at the age of 13 while studying in the Escuela Libre de Música in Mexico City. Directed by his father, Roman Palomar, Rafael performed with Mariachi Charros de Ameca for 15 years. This group made the first recording of the famous song El Mariachi Loco, composed by his father. Rafael traveled to the United States with Mariachi Charros de Ameca to accompany El Charro del Misterio and Las Jilguerillas.
At 17 Mr. Palomar became a member of Mariachi Latino, working in the well known restaurant Plaza Santa Cecilia in Mexico City, accompanying famous singers such as Las Hermanitas Nuñez, Marco Antonio Vasquez, Manuel López Ochoa, Magda Franco, Maria Elena Sandoval and many more. From 15-22 years of age he had the opportunity to record with Los Hermanos Zaizar, Federico Villa and others along with his father. Rafael was then invited to join Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, the best mariachi in the world, with whom he traveled to many countries including the USA, Japan, Holland, Canada, China, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Peru, accompanying world renown singers Lucha Villa, Lucero, Beatriz Adriana, Estela Nuñez, Aida Cuevas, Guadalupe Pineda and many others. In his 23-year tenure, Mr. Palomar soon became one of Vargas’s lead singers and was instrumental in teaching and influencing Vargas’s younger singers. A very significant aspect of his work with Mariachi Vargas was his participation in approximately 35 recordings, considered classics in the genre today.
Mr. Palomar retired from Mariachi Vargas at age 47 and has since worked as musical director for Sr. Ezequiel Peña, accompanying him on his tour of Mexico with his Mariachi Palomar de Ameca. He has also directed Peña’s band.
Rafael Palomar currently resides in Sylmar, California and is the lead instructor for Sinfonía Mexicana Mariachi Youth Academy and Herencia Mariachi Academy. He also provides private voice lessons and specializes stage presence.