Fichamba represented Ecuador in September 1985 at the OTI Song Festival in Spain.

The Ecuadorian singer Jesús Fichamba died this Monday, April 26, at the age of 74, due to COVID-19.

The artist Gustavo Pacheco confirmed this morning the death of Fichamba, who was admitted on April 14 to the Bicentennial Hospital of Guayaquil for coronavirus.

Fichamba represented Ecuador in September 1985 at the OTI Festival of Song, in Spain, in which he won second place with his traditional interpretation of La Pinta, la Niña and la Santa María, written by Luis Padilla and composed by Gustavo Pacheco, who also directed the orchestra made up of 47 musicians who performed live in that iconic presentation.

A musical theme for Fichamba was an important part of his life and the trigger for good memories. “I went on stage, it was such a wonderful thing, I felt like a wind that carried me, I was smiling, happy, triumphant,” he recalled in an interview given to this newspaper last year.

“ La Niña, la Pinta y la Santa María was a song made for me. The 500th anniversary of the discovery of America was near and the contest was in Spain, the critics called me the winner ”, he expressed in another interview with this newspaper in 2003.

The artist was originally from Peguche, Otavalo, and was always proud of his roots; He carried it not only in his blood but also in his way of dressing: his espadrilles, ponchos, pants, and white shirts always accompanied him in his musical career. “My espadrilles always accompany me. I go with my ethnic group everywhere (…) People must identify with their roots. You must feel your own, “he said at a concert in Guayaquil in 2017.

“In my town he toasts with friends, and the public is the friend of the artist. Because a friend always accompanies you, as the public does during our career, “said the artist at that time.

It was 1970, at 23 years old. Fichamba had not arrived in Guayaquil for a short time, but he had long dreamed of singing. With his white indigenous suit from Otavalo and his espadrilles, he performed at the Ifesa record company. He wanted to convince composer Luis Padilla of his talent and ask him to write a song for him. But in that decade he did not succeed.

When he remembers it, he smiles. “He (Padilla) told me that he wrote songs for artists like Darwin, Jhonny and Susana or Silvana,” he says. Fate made Padilla write her the song La Niña, la Pinta and la Santa María.

Fichamba participated with the group of the Guayaquil singer Aladino in 1984 and recorded his first album Fichamba Internacional in 1983 with the Ifesa label.

After OTI Internacional, Fichamba received invitations to programs such as Sábado Gigante, Siempre en Domingo , Noches Viejas de Madrid , and others. In 1985 he recorded his second album called Soñando

Between 1990 and 2000, Fichamba gave priority to its international promotion and participated as a guest in fairs and small art festivals.

When he returned to the country, he dedicated himself to his footwear business in the Bay. He held the position of coordinator of the ORI program (Operation Child Rescue) for a year and two months.

He wanted to be a boxer but after winning by KO in a boxing match in Ambato, he suffered a traffic accident that affected his spine and ended up leaning towards music. 

Amelia Warner– After graduating from NYU with a master's degree in history, She was also a columnist for many local newspapers. Amelia Warner mostly covers Entertainment topics, but at times loves to write about movie reviews as well.

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