Havana, Cuba – Pío Leiva, a popular Cuban singer, died March 23rd in Havana of a heart attack. He was 88.
Leiva was recognized throughout the world for his work as a vocalist with the admired Buena Vista Social Club.
Wilfredo ‘Pío’ Leiva Pascual was known as “el montunero de Cuba.” He was one of the most popular performers of the son montuno genre. Leiva composed “Francisco Guayabal,” which became a hit by Beny Moré.
In 2004 Leiva participated in the Spanish project ‘Cuba le canta a Serrat’ with the song “Me gusta todo de ti.”
Leiva was born May 5, 1917 in the eastern city of Morón. He began as a bongo player in the Orquesta Siboney and later became the singer of Conjunto Caribe.
During the golden age of Cuban conjuntos, Leiva became a popular figure. He sang with Orquesta Aragón, Mariano Mercerón, Conjunto Caney and Riverside.