During the night of this Wednesday, February 16, the death in Lechería, Anzoátegui state, of the renowned Venezuelan singer and composer José Enrique “Chelique” Sarabia, who had been in poor health since the end of January, was known.
Sarabia, 81 years old, was confined in the Anzoátegui Specialty Center clinic, without knowing the causes of his death at the moment.
Born on March 13, 1940 in the state of Nueva Esparta, Sarabia began his musical career in his teens. At the age of 13 he composed Janet and Santome and at 15 his famous Anxiety, whose source of inspiration was the film of the same name starring Libertad Lamarque and Pedro Infante.
This work, according to the author himself, is the one that reported the most satisfaction. Among the performers who recorded it are Rafael Montaño, Adilia Castillo, Alfredo Sadel, Xiomara Alfaro, Lucho Gatica and Nat “King” Cole, whose performance went around the world and is still remembered today.
However, Chelique Sarabia finds in the sisters Rosa Virginia and María Teresa Chacín two of the best interpreters of her compositions.
In 1960, he produced the program Ritmo y Color de Venezuela, which was broadcast on Televisora Nacional, and the program “Club Musical” where he discovered artists such as José Luís Rodríguez, the sisters Rosa Virginia and María Teresa Chacín, “Los Impala”, Henry Stephen and Cherry Navarro and becomes an independent record producer. Three years later he ventured as an entertainer on Radio Caracas Television with the productions How a song is born and Half an hour with Chelique.
The richness of his work has allowed him to obtain important recognitions and participate in numerous festivals such as the VI Festival of Modern Song and the Catia La Mar Naval School Festival, among others. In 1984, he unanimously won the contest for the composition of the Anthem of the city of Caracas (in words and with music by Maestro Tiero Pezzuti) and later that of the Urbaneja Municipality of Anzoátegui State (words and music).
Some of his works that are part of the Venezuelan cultural heritage are: Wings of glass, El caraván, Anxiety, Chinita de Maracaibo, When I don’t know about you, The melting pot of a song, In this country, Hymn of friendship, My soul is hurting and Don’t bite your lips.
In 1973 he composed That man if he walks, musical theme that becomes the anthem of the presidential campaign of the candidate for the Democratic Action party in the elections of December of that year, Carlos Andrés Pérez, which constituted his entry into active politics.
He also composed the theme for the Acude literacy campaign.
In 2015 he received an honorary gramophone in the framework of the Latin Grammy Awards. Sarabia was honored for his long musical career in a ceremony held in Las Vegas, with recognition from the Board of Directors.
With information from music.com