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| 3/4/2010 12:00:00 AM

Musical magic from Colombia

March 4--You won't find music more intimately connected to its people and its country than vallenato, the irresistible accordion-powered folk music of Colombia's Magdalena River valley featured in the Miami Film Festival movie The Accordion Kings.

``This is where my soul, my heart and part of my happiness is,'' Leandro Díaz, one of vallenato's most famous composers, says in the movie. Díaz, who is 82 and blind, gives himself little credit, saying that one of his best-known compositions, Matilde Lina, is ``a song so simple it hardly seems like I wrote it.''

Spanish-speaking pop-music fans worldwide know of vallenato through Carlos Vives, whose pop-rock version made him a star in the mid-1990s. Vives figures prominently in The Accordion Kings, which aims to introduce the magical world of vallenato to English-speaking audiences.

The film focuses on the ``King of Kings'' competition, which every 10 years brings together the accordion ``kings'' -- winners of the annual competition in Valledupar in the heart of vallenato country -- in a legendary contest.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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