Colombia’s famous Vallenato Legend Festival on Wednesday crowned talented accordion player Wilber Mendoza the Vallenato King.
Wilber Mendoza was crowned in the early hours of Wednesday morning, while Alfonso “Ponchito” Monsalvo came second, followed by Gustavo Osorio.
As it turns out, Wilber Mendoza has quite the vallenato pedigree. Now 48, he was only five years old when his father Nicolas “Colacho” Mendoza won the same title in 1969. Colacho also won the illustrious title of “King of Kings” in a 1987 competition which is only held once a decade.
Wilber recalled the night of his father’s 1987 win in an interview with Colombia’s El Tiempo newspaper. “When my dad was the first king of kings I was right by him, I have records, photos, videos, I remember that it was a very big night.”
In 2017, Wilber will have the opportunity to compete for the King of Kings title and follow in his father’s footsteps once again.
Vallenato literally means “born in the valley,” and is now used to describe people from Valledupar as well as the popular folk music, which originates from the region. Valledupar has a rich cultural history and the music is said to have been fueled by myth, magic, and traditional customs.
- El hijo de ‘Colacho’ es el nuevo Rey Vallenato (El Tiempo)
- Wilber Mendoza, hijo de Colacho, es el nuevo Rey Vallenato (Caracol Radio)