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Pío Leyva

Pío Leyva looms among the giants of Cuban music. Though perhaps one of the most effective soneros from the pre-revolution period, he only gained worldwide renown in his twilight years because of the landmark record and documentary Buena Vista Public Club. Blessed Wilfredo Pascual in Morón, Cuba, on, may 5, 1917, he earned an area bongo-drumming competition at age six with 15 was tapped to sing with Juanito Blez’s music group Conjunto Caribe. Upon relocating to Havana, Leyva lent his appealingly gravelly vocals to some works including Orquesta de Jesús Montago, Orquesta Raqueteros del Golf swing, Orquesta del Paseiro, and Sexteto Colón; he also shaped a trio sponsored by an area brand of espresso, Café un Angel, and was a fixture of Cuban radio. Leyva authorized to RCA Victor in 1950 and in the years to check out cut a lot more than two dozen LPs for the label, rating a succession of smash strikes including “El Jardinero de Amor” and “Chapaleando.” Nicknamed “Un Montunero de Cuba” for his matchless improvisational acumen, Leyva documented with famous brands Mariano Mercerón, Orquesta Cosmópolita, and Niño Rivera and in addition sang back-up for Beny Moré, who popularized his best-known structure, “Francisco Guayabal.” In March 1957, Leyva is at the studio room collaborating with vocalist/guitarist Compay Segundo when rebel makes released their assault on Cuban chief executive Fulgencio Batista’s Havana palace. Relating to tale, the program was later released commercially filled with the audio of gunfire in the backdrop. But as the trend halted or terminated the professions of several Cuban music artists, Leyva continuing his studio room and stage profession, appearing frequently on Cuban tv while touring Spanish-speaking countries like Panama, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. In 1991, he actually installed a four-month trek through Western Africa, and five years later on added his “Un Mentiroso” to Juan de Marcos’ Afro-Cuban All Celebrities task. While Leyva didn’t take part on American guitarist Ry Cooder’s 1997 Buena Vista Sociable Golf club LP, which released a lot of the English-speaking globe to Cuban experts including Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, and Omara Portuondo, he do show up prominently in Wim Wenders’ Oscar-nominated 1999 documentary from the same name. Leyva also toured within the Live from Buena Vista display, a package arranged by German promoters and unrelated to Cooder’s primary project (very much towards the dismay of some concertgoers looking to see the same music artists they uncovered on record). The publicity nevertheless raised Leyva’s international account, resulting in the discharge of series including Soneros de Verdad Presents Pío Leiva and Esta Ha sido Mi Rumba. The vocalist also continued to be in great stead with Wenders, and starred in the director’s 2006 documentary The Sons of Buena Vista, a family portrait of another era of Cuban soneros. Leyva didn’t live to find out its worldwide discharge, however. He passed away of a coronary attack in Havana on March 23, 2006, at age 88.

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