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Rafael Escalona

Composer Rafael Escalona revolutionized his local Colombia’s vallenato folk custom, modernizing the music’s tough, accordion-based audio via the addition of vividly detailed narratives causing the rhythms and rigors of working-class lifestyle. Delivered Rafael Calixto Escalona Martínez within the Atlantic coastline city of Patillal on, may 27, 1927, he originally dreamed of seeking a career being a painter or cartoonist, but shortly known that his creative talents lie on paper, not sketching. He authored his initial song, “Un Profe Castañeda,” at age 15, and after composing a lyric describing the indegent quality of meals at his college, he slipped out to focus on his family’s plantation. Escalona hardly ever learned to learn music or play a musical instrument, and he hardly ever even performed in virtually any formal capability — he was rather a parrandero, or partygoer, and spent a lot of time drinking whiskey, going after women, and performing ballads with troubadour close friends. (His group of confederates included the Nobel-winning Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, who afterwards included Escalona being a personality in his 1967 masterpiece A HUNDRED Many years of Solitude.) Escalona’s encounters being a parrandero not merely fueled his interest for the vallenato, but additionally informed his initiatives being a songwriter — his lyrics drew by himself romantic foibles along with the everyday lives of his close friends, bolstered by the type of information, gossip, and legends once transported from city to city by touring minstrels. “I compose vallenatos inside a different design,” Escalona informed Globe Music Central in 2006. “Type of like musical chronicles — just like the gentleman that crashed his cart, or the farmer that dropped off his equine and broke his lower leg.” In Apr 1951, Escalona wed Marina Arzuaga Mejía, also called “La Maye” and the main topic of a lot of his most renowned tunes, including “La Casa en un Aire.” During the period of the 10 years to check out, Escalona emerged like a number of nationwide renown, his popularity solidified by now-classic tunes including “Un Manantial,” “La Vieja Sara,” “Elegía a Jaime Molina,” and “Un Villanuevero.” Despite his achievement, he by no means made a full time income from music, and spent nearly all his existence farming cotton. As time passes, Escalona’s group of parrandas mates included Hernando Molina, spouse of journalist Consuelo Araujo. In 1967, Escalona, Araujo, and previous Colombian chief executive Alfonso López Michelsen co-founded the Event de la Leyanda Vallenata, an annual special event of vallenato music and related Colombian traditions and tradition. The 1991 premiere of Escalona, a Colombian cleaning soap opera inspired from the composer’s existence and work, launched his vallenato classics to a fresh generation of followers. Carlos Vives, a vocalist and acting professional who appeared within the series, later on went on to be a global crossover celebrity, marrying traditional vallenato sensibilities with rock and roll and pop creation to significant industrial success. Escalona’s effect on modern Latin pop was also celebrated in 2006 once the Latin Academy of Documenting Arts and Sciences offered him with among its excellence honours. Escalona died Might 13, 2009, in Bogotá because of heart failing — his survivors included a respected 23 children.

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