Alberto Pacheco Balmaceda was born on June 23, 1936 in Barranquilla. One of Colombia’s most feted accordion players.
Alberto Pacheco was born in Baranquilla, in the heart of cumbia country. He began as a guitar accompanist to romantic singers before immersing himself in cumbia and playing accordion. His original inspiration was the mythical “Francisco el Hombre”, a story-telling troubadour accordionist, legendary through his duel with the Devil on a remote valley pathway. Francisco won, of course. And vallenato – in the valleys - was born. After making various other recordings, Pacheco launched Los Cumbiamberos and had a first hit, in 1961, with Al Almanecer (To Daybreak), demonstrating an extraordinary versatile technique. Santo Domingo is instrumental but for the whooping onomatopoeic choruses and cheers of encouragement, the discreet acoustic guitar lines reminiscent of Pacheco’s early years. In 1971, he was voted King of the Vallenato Legends at the annual Valledupar festival. He died in Valledupar on September 29, 1983.
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