Rafael Calixto Escalona Martinez (May 26, 1926 – May 13, 2009) was a Colombian composer and troubadour. He was known for being one of the most prominent vallenato music composers and troubadours of the genre and for being the co-founder of the Vallenato Legend Festival, along with Consuelo Araújo and Alfonso López Michelsen. He was also a long-time friend of Gabriel García Márquez, who included him in his stories and once told him that his own masterpiece novel, 100 years of solitude, was just a 350-page Vallenato. Escalona's songs compile the history and stories of the Magdalena Department of the past 20th century. Escalona was an atypical music composer: he does not play any instruments or sing so his songs can in some ways be difficult to analyze. His songs constitute a legacy of a past generation of Colombians in his memory, a pictorial collage, full of grace, that narrates stories, customs and gossips from his region. He also left a legacy of his loves and pains, humour and poetry. In 1991, Caracol TV produced a television series named Escalona, after him.
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