To Juan David Atencia Berrio, 23 years old, life denied him the sight of birth, but he was endowed with many skills to play and sing.
With these natural talents -polished under the baton of maestro ‘Turco’ Gil- the accordion player arrived this Holy Tuesday at the Fundación Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata pto stamp your signature and certify his aspiration to become the next Vallenato King.
Never before in the history of this folkloric event a blind digitizer managed to put on the greater crown, but that does not intimidate Juan David who, true to his personality, wants to fight and surprise the favorites.
“For everything, dedication, effort and sacrifice are needed, we have been giving it every day, practice makes perfect, we are combining and adapting”, said Juan David in dialogue with EL PILÓN.
Atencia arrives on the stage of the Vallenato Festival to play “with the eyes of the soul”, slogan you chose to participate and that identifies him with one of his idols, Leandro Díaz.
Blindness is not a problem for him and he affirms this when he is consulted about the difficulties of playing the accordion without having the sense of sight.
“I can’t miss something I haven’t had, in fact, when I was a kid I thought that everyone was like me (blind). Now big I understand…”, expressed Atencia.
The fifth-semester student of the Bachelor of Music at the University of La Guajira is an accordion ‘influencer’ on Instagram, a social network in which he has almost 30,000 followers who admire him, not only for his ability to get good melodies out of the wind instrument, but also for singing, composing, verse, playing the piano, the guitar, the drum, the guacharaca and the timbale.
Now wants to take the step in the most competitive arena of vallenato music as is the Festival where many come to masterfully execute the whistles and basses, but only one will take the crown.
PUPIL OF THE TURKISH GIL
He learned to play the accordion -like most accordion players in the region- from the teacher Andrés ‘El Turco’ Gil, who saw that 6-year-old ‘genius boy’, Coming from the rural area of Valledupar, the potential to get melodies out of the bellows.
“The teacher valued me, he heard me singing and immediately told me that he was not going to waste time teaching me to play the snare drum, that he was going to teach me to play the accordion, that was when a friend of my grandparents on the farm gave me an accordion, That’s where I start with the accordion”said Atencia in an interview with EL PILÓN.
Before arriving at the ‘El Turco’ school, Juan David was already fascinated by another instrument of Vallenato music: the caja.
Precisely, with the Children of Vallenato del ‘Turco’ Giltoured many places such as Nicaragua, Ecuador, Venezuela, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, London, Norway and the Vatican itself.
Juan David will be accompanied by Santiago Fuchi and Frederick Escudero, in the box and the guacharaca, respectively.
All this acquired knowledge wants to express it on the stage Francisco El Hombre de la Plaza Alfonso López where he hopes to leave his mark with the sounds that come out thanks to that gift that God gave him to play “with the soul’s eyes”.
BY JOSÉ ALEJANDRO MARTÍNEZ VEGA / EL PILÓN