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Vallenato: A Colombian Intangible Cultural Heritage for the World

Updated: May 18, 2021

If you want to know about Colombia you have to learn about Vallenato.

This musical genre is a combination of Indigenous, European and African rhythms that tells stories of Colombian farmers; their lives, their love stories and their dreams and struggles. It shines through different rhythms, played with amazing instruments such as accordion, drums, and Guacharaca, mixing fantasy and reality to show the very true nature of the Colombian identity.

The genre is an example of Colombian oral traditions, celebrations and values. An integration of cultures from three different continents that found in Colombia the perfect ground to grow and mature.

To talk about this and see why Vallenato is an example of the richness of diversity in Colombia, the Embassy of Colombia in the United States invited three experts to discuss in details why Vallenato is a Colombian intangible cultural heritage for the world.

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The Experts

Julio Oñate: Oñate has dedicated his life to the genre and has written a number of books in the subject. He will talk about the evolution of the genre through the years showing how in the Upar Valley, this blend of cultures and confluence of indigenous people, Spaniards and blacks, resulted in a new musical language that today identify any Colombian in the world.

Israel Romero: Romero, an experienced musician popularly known as "El Pollo Isra" and founder of the very well known group El Binomio de Oro, will discuss the art of Vallenato, and the technicalities of the rhythm from a musician and accordion player´s perspective

Fernando Lopez: Lopez, an expert in the music industry, will discuss how the rhythm is an international reference to what Colombia represents. Lopez will talk about the traditional and new types of Vallenatos, and what those styles bring to Colombia in the international market.

Ambassador Francisco Santos will moderate the event, guiding the conversation to connect the different angles of the topic so international and local audiences learn about this amazing cultural heritage.

At the end of the conversation, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in a raffle to win vinyls from the most iconic singers of Vallenato in Colombia and in the world!

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