Raúl Olarte was born in Humahuaca, (Jujuy, Argentina). He started studying the quena(1) at the age of seven with the musician Arsenio Zuleta.

His first performance was at the age of thirteen in the Folk Festival of Cosquín (Córdoba, Argentina).
After being part of different youth groups in his province, he travelled to Buenos Aires where he has been living since 1978.
He acquired basic knowledge of music during two years at the Municipal Conservatoire “Manuel de Falla”, (Buenos Aires). After that, he continued as a self-taught artist.

He makes his own instruments by himself (quenas).
In 1978 he joined the band led by the famous musician who plays the charango(2) Jaime Torres, with whom toured in Argentina, America, Europe and Asia for ten years. Moreover, he recorded a great variety of discs during these tours.
Raúl Olarte worked as an interpreter in argentine film’s music and documentaries internationally awarded. Since 1984, he has been a member of SADAIC, which stands for Argentine Society of Authors and Music Composers.
In 1998, he starts his career as a sole musician playing the quena and begins the recording of his first CD “Casabindo”.

In the same year, he is invited by the composer Ariel Ramírez to join his shows “Misa Criolla” - which stands for “Mass celebrated by American born of European Parents”, and “Misa por la Paz y la Justicia” - which stands for “Mass for the Peace and Justice”. Raúl creates the folk band “Cuarteto de los Andes” giving shows on stages as: Carnegie Hall (New York), Santa Cecilia (Roma), Benianei Ha Uma (Jerusalem), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires) and Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), among others.


Con Jaime Torres
He also participated in a worldwide tour with the tenor José Carreras.
In 1993 he performed in concert the worldwide debut “Misa Criolla” adapted for the quena and orchestra, making some adjustments and directed by Mario Benzecry together with the Orquesta de Cámara Mayo.

Con José Carreras
In 1995 his first CD “Casabindo” is launched and edited by Epsa Music. It was presented in public during a series of concerts in Centro Cultural Borges, (Buenos Aires).

In 1997, during the stay in Argentine of Your Majesties the Emperor and the Empress of Japan, he was especially invited to offer them a private concert.
In 1999 he visits Japan again, and on this occasion he gives didactic concerts and masterly lessons on “The Music and the Folk Instruments of the ANDES” at schools and universities (Primary schools in Yokohama – Nanzan University in Nagoya).
In the month of June, 2001, he launched his second CD “Quena del los Andes”, which stands for Quena of the Andes (Epsa Music), in the theatre Presidente Alvear (Buenos Aires).

Con Ariel Ramírez

Con la Orquesta de Cámara Mayo

In 2001, he launches his third CD “Quenquena”, edited by Epsa Music.
In 2002 he participates in the “Israel Festival Jerusalem” representing the argentine folk music.
In October 2002, he gives the conference–Concert “The Music and the Folk Instruments of north-western Argentine” organized by the Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos de la Universidad Rikkyo (Latin American Studies Institute of Rikkyo University) and sponsored by the Argentine Embassy in Japan.
In the same year and as an especial guest, he performs in the closing of the Cosquín Festival in Japan (Kawamata) Fukushima.
In January 2003, he participated in the Folk Festival of Cosquín, Córdoba, Argentine.

In October 2004, at University Rikkyo, he delivers the lecture - Concert “The Sounds of the Andes” sponsored by the Instituto de Estudios Latinoamericanos (Latinamerican Studies Institute) during its 40th anniversary which coincided with the anniversary of the Argentine Embassy in Japan.

He also participated as an especial guest of the Closing of “Cosquín in Japan” (Kawamata) Fukushima, which celebrated his 30° anniversary.
In November 2004, he performed in Colonia, Wuppertal, Emmerich and Munich (Tollwood Festival) in Germany.

Universidad Rikkyo de Tokyo
(1) Quena: musical wind instrument in the form of a pipe.
(2) Charango: kind of five-stringed guitar.
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