HomeChévereA crowd bids farewell to Omar Geles in Valledupar

A crowd bids farewell to Omar Geles in Valledupar

The author of "The Paths of Life" was crowned king vallenato in 1989, when he was only 22 years old

The Colombian composer, singer and accordionist Omar Geles, who died on Tuesday, May 22 and author of more than a thousand Vallenata songs, including hits like “Los Caminos de la Vida” and “A blanco y negro”, was fired yesterday, Thursday the 23rd. of May by a crowd and with official honors.

According to EFE, the funeral services took place on the Francisco el Hombre stage in Plaza Alfonso López, in the center of Valledupar, the world capital of vallenato, where the crowd endured a heatwave sun to say goodbye to the artist who, due to his mastery, With the accordion he was crowned king of vallenato in 1989, at only 22 years old.

“Omar Geles was a musical genius, an excellent accordionist, a successful arranger and composer, he transformed Vallenato music,” the mayor of Valledupar, Ernesto Orozco, said at the event about the artist who died at the age of 57.

Omar Geles
Photo: EFE

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For her part, Elvia Milena Sanjuán, governor of the department of Cesar, of which Valledupar is the capital, recalled “that Omar Geles' songs surpassed national borders” and announced that “his legacy will remain jealously guarded in the cultural center of music.” vallenata” that is built in that city.

The death of Geles, considered the most prolific composer of vallenato, shocked the artists and followers of that genre who, since yesterday, came to Valledupar to say goodbye to him singing his songs next to the coffin on the stage Francisco el Hombre, a character who, according to legend, , defeated the devil in a duel by playing the accordion and praying the creed backwards.

“I got up very early wanting to come see you and thank you for the 12 songs you gave me, you gave them to me with your soul and convinced that I was always going to turn them into success,” said singer-songwriter Silvestre Dangond last night, who Last Saturday he invited him to go on stage during a concert at the El Campín stadium in Bogotá, in what was his last public appearance.

Public tributes

At the funeral, statements of mourning were read from the Senate of the Republic, the House of Representatives, the Mayor's Office of Valledupar, the Municipal Council, the Government of Cesar, the Departmental Assembly and the Popular University of Cesar.

“Vallanata music has lost one of its most emblematic and prestigious composers, one of the most important, most current, most current figures,” said the president of the Society of Authors and Composers of Colombia (Sayco), Rafael Enrique Manjarrés. , who gave the family the Order of Saint Cecilia, awarded posthumously to the artist.

In 1985, Omar Geles created the group Los Diablitos with Miguel Morales, which became very popular in Colombia and other Latin American countries with romantic vallenatos and hits such as “The Paths of Life” and “How I Pay My God.”

“Both came from the same social scale, both had overwhelming talent and shared the same dream: to write their names in the history of vallenato (…) It was in Los Diablitos where Omar Geles discovered his talent for making verses and writing songs. The first of his harvest was a success, and even today it is heard with nostalgia: 'I will wait for you,' "says philosopher Carlos Liñán-Pitre, master in American Studies at the University of Seville (Spain).

The People of Omar Geles

In “The Paths of Life,” considered a vallenato anthem and recorded in nearly 30 versions by different artists, including the Argentine Vicentico, Geles sings of his humble origins and his personal improvement to help his mother get out of poverty.

After separating from Morales, the artist changed the name of the group to La Gente de Omar Geles, with which he remained active to this day.

His vast musical production includes numerous songs recorded by practically all the successful Vallenato singers in the last 40 years.

In addition to “The Paths of Life”, songs such as “Tarde lo met” stand out. “Black and white”, “My crazy things”, “It was your fault”, “A blank page”, “Don't try”, “I was born to adore you” and “Dreams of oblivion”, among many others.

In recognition of that legacy, thousands of people took to the streets of Valledupar this Thursday to applaud the funeral procession in which Geles' coffin, on a fire truck, was transported to the Jardines del Ecce Homo cemetery.

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