THE WORLDWIDE AMBASADOR OF VALLENATO MUSIC
Carlos Vives wanted to be a doctor when he was a boy. He unsuccessfully went through the college of odontology and marketing. He even flirted with soccer. Later, he became a soap opera beau, and sang ballads and Rock en Español. He climbed on the stage thirty years ago, and he has become the worldwide ambassador of Colombian vallenato music. Vives is bringing his show to Denver for the first time.
Carlos Vives comes to Denver with his bicycle and his vallenato music. His concert in our city is a clear invitation to soak up the rhythm, joy and passion Colombia and the whole Caribbean emanates. It will for sure be a big party, because Vives brings his radiant voice, his veteran musicians, and his Afro Caribbean singers, in addition to an irresistible percussion assemble. Vives is showing that he is probably at the peak of his career.
Carlos Vives was born on August 7th, 1961 in Santa Marta, Colombia. In that city, also known as the most beautiful bay in America, Vives spent his first 12 years of life. He has said that was enough to shape his relaxed mood and his easy-going personality. “I am Pacific, I am Caribbean and in Santa Marta I play soccer with ‘el pibe’,” he sang 22 years after his big hit “Pa’Mayté.” But there was a long road to travel between the two.
A young Vives arrived in Bogota with the intentions of becoming a doctor, following on the footsteps of his father. However, his passion for music, that started from his early childhood, took him to explore uncharted territories: Rock and Ballads en Español. During his college years, when he started attending the school of odontology, after a failed attempt to attend medical school, he was in charge of bringing the music to the parties.
A rocker, a boxer and a ‘juglar’
Vallenato music, however, was not the main musical dish Vives was offering at the time. His favorite songs were those by Argentinean rockers like Charly García and Fito Páez, as well as ballads from singers like Alejandro Lerner. With those songs, he started to play in bars throughout the city. During that time, Vives had a brief time as a marketing student, but his story was definitely taking a different course.
In 1986, Vives was chosen to incarnate a boxer on the soap opera “Gallito Ramírez,” a big success not only in Colombia, but in all Central America. During this time, he met who would become his first wife, the actress and model Margarita Rosa de Francisco. Three years later, his acting talent took him to Puerto Rico. Once there, he started two soap operas and he met Herlinda Gómez, who he married and with whom he had two children: Carlos Enrique and Lucía.
His return to Colombia marked the road to international stardom for Carlos Vives. In 1991, he was selected to interpret Rafael Escalona in a successful series that told the story of one of the most important composers of the Colombian vallenato music genre. Two albums with the greatest hits of the Colombian ‘juglar’ skyrocketed the popularity of the Santa-Marta-born actor.
Innovation and worldwide success
His success as a singer beyond Colombian borders happened in 1993. On that year, the album “Clásicos de la provincia” was released, where he interpreted the greatest vallenato hits of all times, including “La gota fría”. He traveled the world with that song. “It was not just about recovering old songs, but to make them sound current,” explained Vives in a documentary about his musical work.
Electric guitars, bass and drums were added by Vives to the traditional vallenatos, something unthinkable at the time. Vives was harshly criticized for that; but he also got to the heart of his followers. “It was a big shock for the traditionalist; but for the younger crowd it was fantastic,” explained, in the same documentary, Mayté Moreno, who plays the pipes and choirs in “La Provincia”, the band that accompanied Vives during his world tour.
In 1995, “La tierra del olvido,” was released. In this album, Vives sings hits from big vallenato composers such as Alejo Durán y Leandro Díaz. In this album, he also began to show his personal signature with songs like “Pa’ Mayté”, “Jam en Jukumey” and “La tierra del olvido”. In his next four albums, Vives completely came out as a song writer.
A break and a comeback
The vallenato songs that Vives writes always go back to his homeland. A showcase of love for his country are the songs “Fruta Fresca” and “Como le gusta a tu cuerpo.” In other songs, Vives took the freedom of referring to known names of the Colombian life, such as writer Gabriel García Márquez, boxer Antonio Cervantes and pilot Juan Pablo Montoya.
In 2012, Vives began a new era, where T.V. and music are the perfect combination for the artists, who reinvents himself based on the quality of his work, his experience, and his visionary spirit. Vives kept record sales and has recorded successful musical work in duets with Brazilian Michel Teló, Puerto Rican Marc Anthony, Wisin, Daddy Yankee and fellow Colombians Shakira, Juanes and Maluma.
Vives is currently married to Claudia Elena Vásquez, a Colombian ex-beauty queen he met while recording the video to his 2001 production “Dejame Entrar”. Claudia and Carlos have two children: Pedro and Elena. This artist, who jumped to stardom with a guitar on his shoulder, short pants, sandals, and long hair, has a solid artistic career that spans for 25 years, and a songbook that is cherished by multiple generations.
“Clásicos de Provincia” (1994)
This álbum made Carlos Vives known internationally. This was a triple gold and triple platinum album. The famous single “La Gota Fría” is included in it.
“La Tierra del Olvido” (1996)
This project won triple platinum. It has been considered the most important album in the recent history of Colombian music.
“Tengo Fe” (1997)
“El amor de mi tierra” (1999)
Platinum and gold in the United States. “Fruta Fresca”, single from this album, topped the Billboard chart for 19 weeks.
“Déjame entrar” (2001)
This album won the Best Tropical Album at the Latin Grammy’s Awards and the song “Déjame Entrar” was the Best Tropical Song.
“El rock de mi pueblo” (2004)
“Clásicos de la provincia II” (2009)
“Corazón Profundo” (2012)
Gold in the Unite States and Platinum in Colombia.
“Más corazón profundo” (2014)
The song “La Bicicleta”, included in this album received the Latin Grammy as the best tropical song of 2016.
Honoring the pioneer
In February of 2016, Vives received the Premio Lo Nuestro a la Excelencia. In this opportunity we could see Carlos Vives sharing the stage with Juanes, Fonseca, Chocquibtown, Silvester Dangond, Jorge Celedon, J Balvin and Maluma. Also, famous soccer players Carlos Valderrama, Juan Pablo Angel, Fayd Mondragon and Mario Yepes, as well as Colombian ex Miss Universe Paulina Vega were on stage with Vives.
This was a well-deserved honor for Carlos Vives. He has grown the cultural legacy of his country. And even more important, he open the doors to new markets for several generations of Colombian talents. He was the first Colombian to receive a Grammy. In Spain, he won the great Barcelonan award ONDAS and two times the award “Amigo” in Asturias.
Concert Carlos Vives USA Tour 2017
Thursday July 20th, 2017
700 14th St, Denver, Colorado 80202
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