Mourning in Colombia on Christmas Day: Lisandro Meza, traditional artist of the December festivities, died

En the evening of Saturday, December 23, 2023, as a result of cerebral ischemia and some illnesses that had been afflicting him at the age of 86, maestro Lisandro Meza said goodbye to this world.. And just as during his extensive and successful musical career, this year’s Christmas holidays will serve to remember his work. Musical.

Born on September 26, 1937, in El Pial (Department of Sucre), the Colombian artist was famous in Colombian music before he came of age. And in more than 60 years he left the impressive figure of 127 albums recorded and songs that remained in the memory of Colombians and Latin Americans.

Known as ‘The macho of America’in his repertoire he had the great handling of the accordion and a characteristic voice for genres and rhythms such as cumbia, porro, sabanera music, vallenato, salsa and its derivatives. But he also showed skill with the piano, guitar, bass, treble, cuatro, tumbadora, snare drum and bagpipes.

The career and music of Lisandro Meza

Apart from the nickname already mentioned, in the more than 6 decades of work he also He was known as ‘The King without a Crown’, ‘The King of Cumbia’, ‘The Sabanero King of Acorden’, ‘El Sabanero Mayor’, ‘The Ambassador of Colombian Music’ and ‘The King of Cachaca’.this last nickname in Paraguay, as far as his tropical and party musical work reached.

Limeza Style’, by his initials, was how he himself baptized his style of music, since it combined different ingredients from Colombian and regional folklore, to reach all types of audiences. And since its beginnings, on the ‘La Armenia’ farm, the son of Raymundo Meza and Victoria Mrquez stood out for his originality and flavor to make family, friends and workers from the same place enjoy.

It was who replacement for the renowned Anbal Velsquez in ‘Los Vallenatos del Magdalena’, showing his great skills for the accordion. And in 1953 he began recording officially, with ‘Los Hermanos Román’, but he evolved quickly and shortly after he formed his own group called ‘Lisandro Meza y Sus Alegres Muchachos’.

Touring throughout Colombia, recording with the main music labels and performing at important events, this artist became popular during the first part of the 60s. And In 1965 he joined the remembered group ‘Los Corraleros del Majagual’taking the place of another legend such as Alfredo Gutirrez and contributing a lot musically to this traditional group.

Its importance was so great that it gave rise to and even the nickname for Julio Estrada, better known as ‘Fruko’, since he included it with his timpani playing in ‘Los Coraleros’. AND By the end of the 60s this group was already known internationally for its style and originality..

Precisely, In 1969 he performed at the ‘Vallenato Festival’was applauded and almost chosen by the public, but the authorities of the same event did not consider it that way and that is why They started calling him ‘The King without a Crown’since for the people he had been ‘King Vallenato’ without discussions.

Later the time came to venture into salsa with ‘Lisandro Meza y su Combo Gigante’, having much local and international success, in addition to leaving songs for posterity. Then ‘Lisandro Meza y Los Hijos de la Niña Luz’ appeared, having greater circulation and touring even throughout the African continent.something unthinkable for those 70s.

In the United States, he not only sold out tickets with his performances, he also won an award for sales of the album ‘El Siete’, and was also nominated for several American Grammy Awards (before the Latin Grammy arrived). AND For a couple of his compositions, ‘Los Hermanos Zuleta’ and ‘Celso Pia’ won these awards.

At the local level it was the Latino with more recognition for his albums at the Cali Fair, with a total of 19. But it is just one of the many events in which she shone throughout her career and it is remembered that in many of the international presentations and in Colombia she sang, a cappella, this fragment:

I love Colombia so much, because I was born in Colombia, don’t call me violent, my homeland hurts me so much, when they call it that! Colombia of my loves, for you I will give my life, whoever has not seen you, does not know. Colombia, how beautiful you are!

Before his health began to fail and he had to stop his musical activity, he continued on tours, had presentations and collaborations with younger artists who recognized him as ‘El Rey’ and also maintained his performances with ‘Los Hijos de la Nía Luz’. ‘. But On December 23, 2023, at the La Concepción Clinic in Sincelejo, he turned off his voicebut it will endure in his work and in the memory of those who heard him at some point on stage.

Songs by Lisandro Meza for December

To love, to partying, to everyday life, to workers, to drunks, to bosses, to discredited politicians. Lisandro Meza composed and sang whatever he wanted and he knew that people liked him. That is why there are songs of great fame and that now, with his death, will surely be heard a lot in Colombia and the world: ‘Human misery’, ‘Baracunatana’, ‘El Polvorete’, ‘Guayabo de la Ye’, ‘Between Bars’, ‘La Matica’, ‘Ests Pillado’, ‘La Cumbia del Amor’, ‘El Hijo de Tuta’ , ‘Addiction’, ‘Alegra y Amor’, ‘Cumbia pa’ Oriente’, ‘El Siete’, ‘La Tapas’, ‘Parapolitico, no’.

But just for the time of his death and for the Christmas holidays, there are a couple of songs that from the moment the unfortunate news of his death became known: ‘December 8’ and ‘December 24’this last song had a nostalgic meaning and has accompanied many because of its lyrics:

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. If I cry, let me cry…

Colombia mourns the death of Lisandro Meza

On social networks, messages have been seen from the Colombian government, from record labels and music companies and from media outlets through which he passed, in addition to musicians who shared with him and have him as a great reference. Carlos Vives‘Aterciopelados’, Monsieur Perin’, among many others, sent messages about what happened.

In addition, there are many ordinary people who have filled the artists’ official social networks with messages of regret and gratitude for their life and work.


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