The Colombian singer Carlos Vives gave away a guitar to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, that will be part of its collection of Latin American music documentation and its contributions to the United Stated culture.
The singer emphasized on the importance of "appreciation" of Latin American culture, which means, on the part of the museum, to ask to an artist to donate something important for him or her, as in this case, the guitar. "It is a symbol of friendship, interest and passion for our Latino culture," he told a news conference in Washington. And it can serve, he added, to encourage people to "seek or go deeper into the musical culture of our land."
Delivering the guitar to museum officials, at a ceremony at the residence of the Colombian ambassador in Washington, Juan Carlos Pinzón, Vives declared himself "proud and very happy" for an act he said is "something that unites us with the American people ". "And being able to talk about the things that unite us is important," said the artist who in October participated, along with other Latin stars as Alejandro Sanz, Julieta Venegas or Natalia Lafourcade in a concert on the border between the United States and Mexico to celebrate, In times of threats of walls and separations, unity through music.
Reporting the history of the United States, as does the National Museum of American History, requires reporting the country's music, and this is not possible without the region's musical contribution, according to Stacey Kluck, curator of the Culture and arts of the museum. "The contributions of Latinos to American music are central," he said at the donation ceremony. Ambassador Pinzón, for his part, celebrated what he considers a recognition of an artist who, like Vives, "has taken the name of Colombia high around the world."
The guitar donated Vives is a very special instrument for the brand new winner of the last edition of the Latin Grammys, where he won two awards, recording and song of the year, with his summer success, La Bicicleta, a collaboration With the also Colombian Shakira. Vives took advantage of her new public appearance to do what she forgot to pick up her awards at last week's ceremony in Las Vegas: thank Shakira for her collaboration.
"I want to thank Shakira this time, do not forget me," he said between the laughter of the audience to remedy a lapse that earned him criticism in social networks.
The guitar donated by Vives on Tuesday was handmade by Colombian lutier Leonardo Fabio Torres, who has also made guitars for other internationally renowned artists, such as the Colombian Juanes and the Dominican Juan Luis Guerra. The guitar is also decorated with the image of an Arahuaco Indian from the Sierra Nevada of Colombia by the artist Camilo Restrepo. It is the instrument that Vives (Santa Marta, Colombia, 1961) used for one of his last concerts in the United States, which he held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in September.
Vives' guitar will enrich a Latin Smithsonian collection that already features objects such as Tito Puente's timbales, Celia Cruz's costumes or Mongo Santamaria's drums. The National Museum of American History valued the contribution of a musician and composer who "has contributed a great way to the world of music through its fusion of vallenato with other musical genres" and that, in addition to its numerous awards, including two Grammy and 11 Latin Grammy, has sold over 50 million albums worldwide.