Paula Monsalve was born and raised in Linares, Chile. She grew up in a family with a strong folk music tradition, and began singing and playing the guitar at age seven. During high school and the university, where she majored in English, she performed alone and in various folk music ensembles. At 22, she traveled to Spain to begin her professional career. Performing a Latin American folk and New Song repertoire in the nightclubs and coffee houses of Madrid, she captivated the Spanish audiences with her luscious voice and lively style.
While in Europe, she met the Chilean composer and multi-instrumentalist Joakin Bello. During the 1980s, Paula became the principal interpreter of his spiritual songs inspired by the world’s sacred traditions. During this period they performed scores of concerts in Europe and the Americas. They recorded 3 LP’s Hijo del Planeta (Son of the Planet), 1982; Yo soy (I am)1983; and Sé Feliz (Be Happy), 1985.
Since 1984, Paula has lived in Indiana with her North American husband and two sons. While balancing the role of mother and singer, she has become a true cultural ambassador to the Midwest. Since 1986 Paula has represented the Hispanic World at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, sharing her native Spanish, Andean and Mapuche music from the north and south of Chile. Her 1987 album Yo tengo tantos hermanos (I have so many brothers and sisters) is the voice from the end of the continent.
In 1992, The Indiana-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana, gave her special recognition as an advocate of the Hispanic culture in the United States.
During the 90's Paula moved into the realm of the bolero, the slow rhythmic and very danceable love song of Afro-Cuban origin. Her album Solo Boleros (1994) is the product of a collaboration with her brother Roberto Monsalve, as keyboardist and arranger, and Erich Bulling, as producer, arranger and musician. The English version of this album is Speak to me with Paula interpreting songwriter Brian Braff’s new bolero-inspired lyrics.
In 1996, Paula took her Latin folk and ballad repertoire to the concert hall venue as guest soloist with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Thomas Elefant. This concert was such a hit that Richmond invited her back again to the Valentine’s Day concert in 1998, conducted by Maestro Guy Victor Bordo. Both times, Paula was accompanied by her brother Roberto at piano, and Rodrigo Apablaza on the guitar.
In 2000, Paula took her career to new heights with the release of her latest album, Concierto, at her Latin American Pops concert with the Anderson Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Richard Sowers. Concierto is a recording of the music performed in Paula’s symphonic concerts, with Roberto Monsalve, pianist, Rodrigo Apablaza, guitar/arranger, and musicians from the Santiago Symphony Orchestra (Chile).
In 2004, Paula continued singing at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. She was part of the Concert Series at The Indianapolis Museum of Art, and gave a concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.
In 2005 Paula and Rodrigo Apablaza (guitar) visited Israel, and gave two concerts with the Ben Dorit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Thomas Elefant. They also performed at the University of Tel Aviv and at the School of Jazz in Tel Aviv. This trip was an unforgettable experience for both of them due to the incredible response and warmth of the Israeli people.
In 2006, Paula performed with the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Alexander Platt. This was her seventh symphony orchestra concert. She sang in “La Peña” for the Latino students of the University of Illinois, Chicago. During August, Paula traveled to Chile to perform with the “Orquesta Clasica de la Universidad de Santiago” conducted by Maestro Thomas Elefant. During September, Paula sang for the opening Gala of the “Iberoamerica” art exhibit at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On September 16th, Paula sang for the Chilean Community in Chicago for their independence celebration. On October Paula sang al Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana.
Paula is now preparing her new album with her own compositions, to be released sometime next year. In the year 2007, Paula performs two concerts with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra conducted by Maestro Stanley Derusha in Indianapolis, Indiana. In the year 2008 , she finished her latest album REINA MIA recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The complete production was made by the incredible and outstanding musician Diego Clemente. In September of this year she had the USA TOUR visiting several cities in the States. The University of Illinois , Chicago. Portland Arts Place, Portland, Indiana. The Children Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana. And The Orchard School of Indianapolis, Indiana. In the year 2009, Paula starts her own Foundation to help the poorest of the poor around the World AMOR DE MADRE – MOTHER’S LOVE , in Linares , Chile. She is invited as a special guest for the AWARDS OF THE YEARS 2008 – 2009 SONTA.; at the United Nations, Santiago, Chile. In the year 2010 Paula visits the country of Guatemala, to give her first donation on behalf of her foundation AMOR DE MADRE in the city of Antigua, the Nursing Home; “Cabecitas de Algodon” were the happy recipients. Paula gave an incredible and meaningful concert for the “ abuelitos “. Purdue University – Lafayette , Indiana. Concert for the Home and Family Conference. for Women.