Venezuelan Master of Musica Llanera Simón Díaz Dies at 85

Simón Díaz

Simón Díaz

Renowned Venezuelan singer-songwriter Simón Díaz passed away today, February 19, 2014 in Caracas.

Simón Díaz was born August 8, 1928. Also known as Uncle Simón, he was one of the most famous songwriters in Latin America. He dedicated most of his life to reviving the music of the Venezuelan plains, known as a musica llanera.

His songs were performed by some of the best known singers in the Spanish-language world, including Mercedes Sosa (Argentina), Caetano Veloso (Brazil), Joan Manuel Serrat (Spain), Danny Rivera (Puerto Rico), and Franco De Vita (Venezuela), Soledad Bravo (Venezuela) and José Luis Rodríguez (Venezuela). Diaz’s most frequently performed song is “Caballo Viejo,” which translates as “Old Horse.”

“Latin Recording Academy Trustees Award recipient Simón Díaz — affectionately known as “Tio Simón” — was not only Venezuela’s folk music ambassador but a highly respected composer and singer whose talent encompassed roles in film, television, and theater,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr. , President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. “Renowned for his poetic and lyrical compositions, as well as his work in the tango and bolero genres, he is especially remembered for his countless songs in the llanera music style of Venezuela and his unforgettable anthem “Caballo Viejo” — known by some as “Bamboleo.” His work will continue to live on and inspire future musicians, and he will forever be a part of the cultural fabric of his cherished country. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues and those touched by his music.”

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About ARomero

Angel Romero has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusicportal.com, worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. In the TV area, Angel co-produced Musica NA, a music show for TVE (Spain) that featured world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. He was also the executive producer of the first Latino feature film made in North Carolina.