Jairo Varela, considered Colombia's greatest salsa composer, was buried in a cemetery in the southwestern city of Cali amid massive crowds that came to pay their last respects.

Thousands attended the funeral of the founder and director of the famous Grupo Niche salsa band.

Varela, 62, died Aug. 8 of a heart attack in his apartment.

The composer of still-popular numbers like "Cali Pachanguero" and "Una Aventura" (An Adventure) was bid farewell by the thousands who gathered to see his casket carried through the streets of Colombia's salsa capital.

A religious service at the seat of the municipal council initiated the series of funerary events for Varela that included a salsa concert in the plaza outside city hall by singers and musicians who had once been directed by the artist. EFE