Colombian music legend Rafael Escalona was buried Friday in
Valledupar, the city he left with the country’s largest vallenato
After his death Wednesday a row of ceremonies followed. The singer’s lifeless body first was taken to Colombia’s Congress where a large number of the country’s highest officials and hundreds of fans took the opportunity to say goodbye. A mass in honor of Escalona on the capital’s main Bolivar square also was visited by many.
After the ceremonies in Bogota, Escalona’s body was flown to Valledupar, the city that has kept the tradition of the vallenato alive through its anual vallenato festival that was initiated, among others, by Escalona.
In the city of vallenato, artists like Carlos Vives, Jorge Oñate and Poncho Zuleta performed in honor of their deceased hero and example. All were acompanied on accordion by at least ten “kings of vallenato”.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, present at the Valledupar ceremony, praised the artist’s artistic and human qualities and considered him a man who will always live in the hearts of Colombians.
After the ceremony, the remains of Escalona were buried on Valledupar’s Central Cemetery, next to the graves of his friend, former Minister of Culture Consuelo Arahujo and painter Jaime Molina.