Emilianito Zuleta Díaz

Biography

Emilianito Zuleta Díaz was born in Villanueva (Guajira) the 28th of December 1944. He is a versatile artist with different facets: Accordion player, songwriter and improvisator. He studied in Villanueva, Valledupar, Tunja and Bogotá where he got a degree in Agronomy.

Emilianito is a member of the Zuleta’s family dynasty, he has the commitment of preserve the authentic Vallenato folklore and the roots of the real Vallenato music. Son of Emiliano Zuleta Baquero one of the old times master of the Vallenato music and composer of the most well known Vallenato song in the world (La gota fria). Being more than 40 years a musician, Emilianito composed more than 60 songs and recorded more than 50 albums with his brother Alfonso “Poncho” Zuleta and other vocalists. He is one of the last masters of the accordion in Colombia that is still alive. Furthermore Emilianito is one of the few masters that continuous plays the real style of the Vallenato roots.

In 1982 Emilianito went with his brother “Poncho” to Stockholm to play at the Nobel prize ceremony that awarded Gabriel García Márquez. Emilianito is the only accordion player in the Vallenato music to win two Latin Grammy awards. In 2006, he was the winner of the first Latin Grammy award for the Vallenato music (cumbia/vallenato category), with his album “Cien Días de Bohemia” recorded with his brother “Poncho”. In 2008, he received the second Latin Grammy award for his album “Solo Clásicos” (Only Classics).

Emilianito composed the classic song “Mi acordeon” where he described the relation he has with the accordion and how this singular instrument changed his live. Emilianito is well recognized for creating a different style of playing the accordion on the Vallenato music that preserves the authentic roots but at the same time introducing new ways of performing the instrument with a whole new sounds that enriches the most popular music genre in Colombia.

Now, when the Vallenato music faces new changes with new artists and accordion players creating and mixing new styles, Emilianito represents the classic way to play the accordion and writing songs. With thousand of followers around the world, he is also one of the best songwriters at all times of the Colombian music.