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Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Las Americas

Estrellas del Vallenato

Representing several generations and a range of song styles, the musicians in this all-star group hail from small towns and ranches on Colombia's Caribbean coast, a region known as La Guajira. ¡Ayombe! The Heart of Colombia's Música Vallenata, the 2008 Independent Music Award winning Smithsonian Folkways recording, also became a full-length feature film, entitled Accordion Kings, that will air on the Smithsonian Channel in the fall of 2009.

  • Isaac Enrique Carrillo Vega, vocals
  • Daniel José Castilla Maestre, caja
  • Javier Enrique Gámez Brito, accordion
  • Jaine José Maestre Socarrás, guacharaca
  • Orangel Maestre Socarrás, accordion
  • Sigilfredo Rivera Peñalosa, electric bass

Left: Accordionist Náfer Durán is a master of vallenato music, which originated on the Colombian Caribbean coast and evokes an ebullient, neighborly way of life common to the towns and ranches in the nearby flatlands of La Guajira and Cesar departments.
Right: Orangel "El Pangue" Maestre Socarrás. Photos by Daniel Sheehy, Smithsonian Institution.

01: Leandro Díaz and others share the inspiration behind Colombia's música vallenata.
02: The expressive power of música vallenata.