Carlos vives

Exclusive: Carlos Vives, with his wife Claudia Elena Vásquez, premieres online concert directed by Gustavo Dudamel

The premiere of the legendary concert takes place from the Hollywood Bowl

Carlos Vives needs no introduction. The Colombian legend has made us fall in love with his music over the years. After his latest success with Ricky Martin and their song “Canción Bonita,” he is premiering an impressive online concert for the world to see.

The concert will be held at the Hollywood Bowl, a venue known for its summer concerts under the stars, where Vives will be performing with the excellent and renowned Philharmonic of Los Angeles (or the L.A .Phil), directed by the great Gustavo Dudamel.

Carlos Vives
Photo: Farah Sosa

After this beautiful concert, whose direct link you will find below, we spoke exclusively with Carlos Vives and his inseparable and charming wife, Claudia Elena Vásquez. The pair opened their hearts to HOLA! USA to share details about the sad and recent loss of the artist’s father, their beautiful relationship, fatherhood, and, of course, his latest musical experience in the city of Los Angeles.

Click here to see the entire concert.

“I want my children to remember me always with joy and gratitude, as I remember my father” - Carlos Vives

Carlos, how would you describe the experience of recording Sound Stages in L.A. with Dudamel?

A very familiar experience! Gustavo has a special affection for our music and a real connection of origin. This made it wonderful because we connected two musical worlds, symphonic and popular music; we really enjoyed it.

You are used to singing in front of thousands of people. How does it feel to do it in an empty auditorium?

It is definitely strange to do a concert without an audience but, on the other hand, it was great to feel the power and love of the orchestra and what it represents. In addition, that scenario fills me with energy, the most recent memory I have was an absolutely full Hollywood Bowl in September 2016; I hope that is repeated. We already have an appointment agreed on August 27 and 28 of this year, there are two dates for our tour “DESPUES DE TODO VIVES,” there will be our revenge!

Carlos Vives Gustavo Dudamel©Hola
Carlos Vives and Gustavo Dudamel Photo: Farah Sosa

Could you tell us the three qualities that you most admire about Dudamel?

He is a remarkable figure in music that has not lost his humility, and his leadership capacity seemed incredible to me and his genius.

Why can’t anyone miss Carlos Vives at Sound Stage?

Because Carlos Vives and LAPHIL is an exhilarating, explosive formula.

“To sing again soon with the public, my heart comes out of happiness...“ - Carlos Vives
carlos vives©Andres Oyuela
The magnificent Hollywood Bowl | Photo: Farah Sosa

You will soon return to the Hollywood Bowl, as you mentioned before. What excites you the most about the idea?

With the excitement of returning to a completely magical place, with exceptional energy, and, of course, singing again with an audience, my heart comes out of happiness. Also, two nights, wow! What more can I ask for?

The pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone. What is the positive you got out of it?

I am grateful to the pandemic for the opportunity to spend more time with my children, to miss the contact, the hugs from the people, and to value the simplest things in life. A situation like the pandemic allowed us to see the reality of our countries more starkly, inequality, and it enables us to see that there is a lot of work to do from our comforts to make this gap smaller and smaller.

More than forty years of career. How does it feel to look back and see all your achievements?

It has been forty years since I got to the first television show, and I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had in my country and abroad and for so many wonderful people I have met. But I especially remember the people’s affection when I decided to make the music of my land, how my songs were taken around the world, and how to find a new sound to open the doors to the whole world.

“The balance with my wife is that I will always be in debt to her because she came into my life to teach me to value and love my things, and she has given me a beautiful family that goes beyond our children ”- Carlos Vives
carlos vives©Andres Oyuela
Photo: Andres Oyuela

You have been with Claudia Elena for 20 years. What would be the balance of your relationship with her?

The balance is that I will always be in debt to her because she came into my life to teach me to value and love my things; she had given me a beautiful family that goes beyond our children. When she started working with me, I had more opportunities than ever before in my career.

You just shared a video showing your children‘s musical talent. Will they follow in your footsteps?

I want them to be happy and discover their way. Parents, we sow opportunities, and we are here to help. Whatever they decide, we will be there. If they choose to be artists, of course welcome, I couldn‘t be more proud.

How would you define the parenthood experience?

A special meaning to my life is understanding the responsibility assumed with the children, with the projects, with what we undertake; it is an instinct to take care of everything we create day by day.

“The mourning is lived differently over time, but I will always miss him… ”- Carlos Vives

You recently lost your dad; our sincere condolences, how are you mourning, and what do you remember with the most love about him?

I remember as a child when he took me to meet the local soccer team. I remember when he took me and a guitar to sing to his patients at the hospital. Later in life, when I started traveling, I was lucky to go with him on several trips—the happiness of sharing so many pleasant moments with him. The mourning is lived differently over time, but I will always miss him.

How would you like your children to remember you one day?

May they always remember me with joy and gratitude, as I remember my dad.

carlos vives©Andres Oyuela
Photo: Andres Oyuela

Claudia Elena has been and is a fundamental figure in this artist’s life who will go down in history as a genius of music, and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to talk with her.

Claudia, we owe you a lot because, according to your husband, you are the reason why he returned to music. What prompted you to make that decision?

Knowing the talent and the overflowing capacity of creativity of Carlos and the frustration of seeing that there were no opportunities for him, I could not believe it. These were difficult times, and we had to look for job opportunities to get ahead. I sincerely believed in his ability to work and in his talent, and that prompted me to seek those opportunities, to structure a solid work team, and to create what today we call the Vives Universe: our local music label Gaira, our music school for Children Rio Grande, our place to live an experience Colombianidad such as Gaira and the Cumbia House, our Tras la Perla foundation and, of course, the entire musical world of Carlos as an artist.

What would be the balance of your relationship with your husband?

Carlos doesn’t stop creating, and I want all his dreams to come true. We are a team that complements each other very well. I wake up every day with different challenges thanks to the opportunity to work with him, and we do collective, constructive work.

Who do you admire the most, Carlos the husband, Carlos the dad, or Carlos the artist, and why?

I admire Carlos in all his facets. He is a romantic, loving, feminist husband, and I love that. He is a caring, funny dad, a historian, so he always has something to teach. He connects us with the world and teaches us to value the things of each place we visit as a family. With him, everything is history and adventure. And the artist is overwhelming; his ability to create with him has no limits. My best ally is the intellectual property law because every day, I want to register every brand that is invented, every song, every idea. Carlos is brilliant.

How did it feel to live with him the recent experience of the Hollywood Bowl?

The whole process was fascinating. From the moment we received the call from Gustavo‘s team to later see him there, on that majestic stage unifying his popular world with that incredible orchestra. Each arrangement of the songs we chose was impeccably created by Lvoja (Lev Zhurbin) and Masterfully executed by all the musicians on that stage led by maestro Dudamel and the energy of Carlos.

“I admire Carlos in all his facets, he is a romantic, loving, feminist husband, and I love that.” - Claudia Elena
carlos vives©Andres Oyuela
Photo: Andres Oyuela

Living with an artist is not easy for a million reasons. What is your secret to making the family work despite his career?

We try to share as much time as possible together, and I am very efficient with managing everyone‘s agendas to achieve this. We live in Bogotá, my children study in a regular school, and sometimes people see us together for so long that they think my children do homeschooling, but it is not like that. The truth is that they never miss school unless we have something exceptional that we feel is important that they live with us. So, that secret is summed up in sharing as a family as long as possible.

Would you like your children to follow in their father‘s footsteps and dedicate themselves to the art world in the future?

I want my children to discover their talents, what they are passionate about in life, be educated very well in those talents, and put them at the service of humanity. So whatever they decide to be, I will accompany them with all the love and encourage them to serve others.

The situation in Colombia has not been easy, the pandemic, the riots. How are you living this as a family, and what would you like the world to know about your beautiful country?

Historically in our country, there has been a lot of inequity and lack of opportunities; with the public health measures taken by the pandemic, the poverty rates soared even more. Today, around 7.5 million people (15% of the population) are in extreme poverty, and 21 million people (42.5%we connected) are in poverty. People must speak out and have effective participation mechanisms, where the government can listen to citizens and reach agreements that allow progress in creating opportunities. The path of seeking consensus is more complex. Still, it is necessary, and many vital voices can contribute to the development, and currently, our leaders do not hear them — she points out emphatically. Then she adds: Carlos and I are not indifferent to this situation. We work from culture and art; we generate more than 350 jobs in the Vives Universe. Likewise, with our Tras La Perla Initiative, we work in Santa Marta, Carlos‘s hometown, and in the region of his influence. We promote territorial development by bringing new ideas and projects to different places from the community’s hands. Our life commitment is in Colombia; it is a beautiful country, here we always want to be with our children, and every day we work to make it a better place for everyone.

Congratulations to this beautiful couple and don’t miss the concert with the also great Gustavo Dudamel! A delight for the senses. Undoubtedly, the Latin talent shines like never before in the United States!

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