Colombian Legend Esthercita Forero Dies at 91

Esther Forero Celis , better known as Esthercita Forero and La Novia de Barranquilla, died on Friday, June 3rd, 2011.

Esthercita Forero was one of the most important singers and composers of Colombian folk music in the Caribbean region. She was born in Barranquilla on December 10th, 1919.She started singing at a very early age. At 14, she made her radio debut at “La Voz de Barranquilla.” At 18, she made a nationwide tour.

International tours followed. In 1942 she toured Panamá. She later visited Venezuela in 1945. Esthercita recorded several popular albums in Puerto Rico with Rafael Hernández, which opened the doors to Colombian music in the Caribbean region.

Esthercita Forero performed in Cuba with Pancho Portuondo’s orchestra. Her travels took her to New York, where she worked with pianist and composer René Touzett.

She returned to Colombia in 1959. During the following years, she performed with various orchestras, including Pacho Galán, Nuncira Machado, Aníbal Velásquez, Clímaco Sarmiento.

In 1975 se recorded “Érase una vez en La Arenosa” with maestro Pedro “Pete” Vicentini. Some of her most famous songs include “Mi vieja Barranquilla” (1974), “Luna barranquillera” (1963), “La Guacherna” (1976), “Volvió Juanita” (1978), “Palito ‘e matarratón” (1964), “Tambores de Carnaval” (1978), “Nadie ha de saber” (2002), and “El hombre del palo”.

Colombia’s Ministry of Culture honored her in 1998 with the título Emérito. Recently, Colombia’s House of Representives awarded her the “Policarpa Salavarrieta” Order.

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