For 55 years the Festival of the Vallenato Legend has been recognized as the perfect setting for the dissemination and defense of folkloric and popular expressions that surround Vallenata culture and music.
Year after year, through the different contests, Hundreds of artists from different regions of the country compete for the long-awaited title to crown themselves as the absolute kings of the accordion.
However, Vallenato composers, who have contributed greatly to music and folklore, are no exception, since the Festival in addition to wanting to preserve the 4 vallenato airs (the paseo, merengue, son and puya, through the flagship instrument of the region) seeks ways to safeguard poetry and oral tradition as a sociocultural legacy of the biggest festival of accordions.
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And that’s what to talk about composers is to return to the beginnings of music, since they are the authors of the works that have instilled the continuous tradition of the essence, history and idiosyncrasy of the Vallenatos.
“The composers are really the backbone and it is true that together with the accordion player they are the physical support of this folklore, however, in folklore first it was the singing, later the accordion player appeared interpreting what the creator of the songs composed”, expressed Julio Oñate, writer, composer and historian of Vallenato music.
It is important to note that initially the vallenato composition was generated through its reality, since the narrator who did not lie to his surroundings He had the expertise to narrate through music the events that occurred in his social environment.
A significant contribution that specifically contributed to raise the recognition of vallenato music and folklore not only nationally but internationally.
“The contribution of the composers that has always been concomitant with the other agents that intervene such as the cashier, the guacharaquero, the accordion player has a connotation because the interpreters have always executed what the composers produce. I think it has been a harmonious, balanced and positive contribution because that has earned it the recognition that vallenato music has at a national and international level”, said composer Rafael Manjarrez.
Previously, the great minstrels, in addition to playing the accordion, were majestic composers and performers who combined both trades moving from place to place in order to spread the good news.
However, when the Vallenato Festival appears, close to its 55th anniversary, the idea arises of opening a representative space to praise and revalidate the importance of those compositions that echoed in the history of folklore.
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A story told by the same minstrels of the time, composers of verses that became the most important bastions of tradition and that opened the way to a history that, although it has had some modifications, is still recognized for its essence.
Many of the representative characters of this poetic art from which it emerges Rafael Escalona, Leandro Diaz, Lorenzo Morales, Juancho Polo ‘Valencia’, to mention a few, he left an indelible mark and in which some other current composers who have done an impeccable job in Vallenato musical history were welcomed.
Gustavo Gutiérrez, another of the many names, first winner in the unpublished song contest in 1969 with one of the most beautiful walks currently considered or Rafael Manjarrez the composer who gave the anthem to the Vallenato Festival with ‘Ausencia sentimental’, as well as hundreds of poets, writers, and fans of Vallenato music have been in charge of opening a category in which they are also crowned as kings.
These composers, sAccording to some connoisseurs, they are living examples of traditional vallenato music. that little or nothing allowed themselves to be permeated by cultural industrialization and have been referents of folklore.
“The composers have contributed to the Vallenato Festival. Logically in the unreleased song category, unfortunately this category has divided the group lately, you can’t say before because the composers who recorded were the same composers who participated in the vallenato, a clear example is Fernando Dangond Castro with ‘My poetry was born’ or Rafael Manjarrez with ‘Ausencia sentimental’, among others”, said Gabby Arregocés, Vallenato singer-songwriter.
By Melissa Valle/EL PYLON
You can also see the entrance in El Pilón.