Sixto Silgado was born on April 5, 1939 in the very small town of Flamenco, in the northern part of Colombia in the Department of Bolívar. When he was a young kid people always called him Paíto, and it is with this nickname how everybody knows him today, even more than his actual name.
He learned to play gaita macho (male gaita) watching and imitating his father who was also a gaita player, and when he had the age and the size necessary, he dared to play the gaita hembra (female gaita). This way he was able to learn the repertoire of the black tradition or “tradición negra” of the Gaita: songs interpreted by musicians who belong to the black or Afro-descendant marginal communities of the Atlantic Coast of Colombia. (San Onofre, María la Baja, Cartagena, and its vicinities).
Today Silgado lives on La Isla Grande, situated some kilometers off the coast of Cartagena in the Caribbean Sea. He settled in the island in 1962 when he met and fell in love with his wife, Danilsa, a native of a nearby island.
Paíto has visited the Colombian capital various times, as well as other cities such as Medellín or Barranquilla, thanks to his reputation as a gaita player participating in different festivals. He also did some concerts with the collaboration of Ethnomusika at La Maison de la musique de Nanterre in Paris, France, where he was introduced to the European audience in May 2009. Later that year he conquered the hearts of the Brazilian audience playing in the cities of Brasilia, São Paulo, and Belem.