No-one is too sure how the accordion arrived in Colombia in the 1800s. Legend has it a German ship was shipwrecked in the Magdalena River and the accordions rescued went on to captivate the nation. Either way, the accordion is now the backbone of Colombian folk music. Vallenato was born in the Caribbean coast, where minstrels played their accordeons and sang stories from town to town. Accordions also feature in cumbia music. Every year Colombia holds the world’s biggest accordion-playing contest, the Vallenato Legend Festival in Valledupar and the instrument has inspired some of the country’s biggest music stars, including Carlos Vives, Shakira, Juanes and Fonseca.