Backbeat: Jorge Celedon, Jimmy Zambrano Ignite Colombian Patriotism in Miami
Backbeat: Jorge Celedon, Jimmy Zambrano Ignite Colombian Patriotism in Miami

jorge Jorge Celedon, center, performed his hit "Ay Hombe" with guest star Luis Enrique, left, and his accordionist Jimmy Zambrano at Miami's James L. Knight Center. (Photo: Leila Cobo)

Forget romance. Nostalgia may be the most powerful motivator, as evidenced by the concert by Colombian stars Jorge Celedón and Jimmy Zambrano at Miami's James L. Knight Center Feb. 11. There, nearly 5,000 attendees, sporting Colombian hats and drinking Colombian aguardiente (provided for sale by concert sponsor Aguardiente Antioqueño), sang along to Celedón's traditional vallenato and danced non-stop for over two hours.

Celedón, who left the following day to open up the Barranquilla Carnival in his home country, performed older hits as well as material from his new album, Lo Que Tú Necesitas (What You Need), which was released in Colombia last fall by Sony, but has yet to be released here in the U.S. The Miami show, produced by NYK Productions, was one of two shows Celedón and Zambrano played in the U.S. before heading off for Ecuador and Venezuela.

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A lengthier tour is being planned for later in the year when a single is on the radio and the album is officially released in this country.

celedon Ivan Fernandez, left, Celedon's representative in Miami, with The Entity's Carlos Perez, who helps promote Celedon in the U.S. Perez's recent projects include Gloria Estefan's chart-topping Hotel Nacional. (Photo: Leila Cobo)

"We want to offer his fans everything we possibly can," said Celedón head of publicity Freddy Jiménez. Celedón is a superstar in his native Colombia and scored one of the country's biggest vallenato hits ever with "Ay Hombe," a song that became a major crossover hit, playing in all formats.

On Saturday, Celedón sang it with Nicaraguan star Luis Enrique as a guest in an acoustic rendition that nevertheless had the audience up on its feet.

group Pre-concert at a reception hosted by the Colombian consulate, from left, The Entity's Sergio Rozenblat, Celedon, Carlos Perez and Freddy Jimenez, head of press and publicity for Celedon and Zambrano. (Photo: Leila Cobo)

Prior to the concert, Colombia's Consul general hosted a reception for Celedón attended by dignitaries, press and music industry executives, and served typical Colombian empanadas (yum).

Among those in attendance were Carlos Perez and Sergio Rozenblat, partners in The Entity, which helped in the promotion of Celedón's music. Rozenblat is also managing another Colombian, Charlie Zaa. Another Colombian artist, Juan Jose Mesa-son of vallenato legend Lisandro Mesa-was also at the show. Mesa is releasing his new album under Café Records.