Simón Díaz during a 2005 concert in Boston, U.S.
August 8, 1928|
Barbacoas, Aragua, Venezuela
|Died||February 19, 2014
|Genres||Venezuelan folk music|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, singer, composer|
Díaz endeavored to recover the folklore and musical traditions of the llanos, the Venezuelan plains. This style of music has since been performed by artists such as Argentina's Mercedes Sosa, Brazil's Caetano Veloso, Spain's Joan Manuel Serrat, Peru's Susana Baca, Puerto Rico's Danny Rivera, and Venezuelans Franco De Vita, Soledad Bravo, Juan Carlos Salazar, Carlos Baute and José Luis Rodríguez, among others. Many of Diaz's works have been adapted by symphonies and choral ensembles throughout Venezuela, as well as being incorporated into the orchestral and choral arrangements of conductors and composers of academic music.
Artists from various other disciplines have utilized Díaz's work. For example, German choreographer Pina Bausch included some of Díaz’s songs in her work Nur Du. Also, the film director Pedro Almodóvar included Díaz's song "Tonada de Luna Llena" as part of the soundtrack for his film The Flower of My Secret, sung by the Brazilian artist Caetano Veloso.
Díaz has also performed in theater, motion pictures and television. In the 1960s he became a comedian in Venezuela. He had the leading role in three plays, and in films like El Reportero and Isla de sal; has produced and hosted 12 different TV shows, all of them devised to promote Venezuelan music. One of these shows, Contesta por Tío Simón, was devoted to teaching popular culture to children. This children's show was on the air for 10 years, during which time Díaz's viewers began calling him "Uncle Simón". Diaz had a daily radio show for twenty-five years which focused on folklore and Venezuelan music. He has recorded over 70 records and CDs and has made innumerable performances throughout his career.
Díaz is the author of "Caballo Viejo", which was recorded by the Gipsy Kings as the hit song "Bamboléo". His compositions have been performed by artists such as Plácido Domingo, Ray Conniff, Julio Iglesias, Celia Cruz, Rubén Blades, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Gipsy Kings, Ivan Lins, Joyce, Cheo Feliciano, Juan Gabriel, María Dolores Pradera, Martirio, Tania Libertad, Ry Cooder and Devendra Banhart
The Latin American TV channel A&E MUNDO produced a documentary dedicated to Díaz under its “Biography” program that honors Diaz's many contributions to Venezuelan culture, the program began airing in September 2004.
|LP 6124||Parranda Criolla||Palacio|
|LP 6128||Lila + Hugo + Simón: Música de la Película "Isla de Sal"||Palacio|
|LP 6136||¡Ya Llegó Simón!||Palacio|
|LP 6146||De Parranda con Simón||Palacio|
|LP 6154||Criollo y Sabroso||Palacio|
|LP 6181||Caracha Negro||Palacio|
|LP 6194||Gaitas y Parrandas con Simón||Palacio|
|LP 6221||Simón En Salsa... En Gaita||Palacio|
|LP 6253||Gaita 69||Palacio|
|LP 6273||Artistas Venezolanos Solamente||Palacio|
|LP 6275||Gaita 70||Palacio|
|LP 6297||Gaita 71||Palacio|
|L.P.S. 109||Navidad Criolla con el Quinto Criollo||Palacio/Guarura|
|LPS 66333||La Gaita de las Cuñas: El Candidato Chévere ¡Vota por Él!||Palacio/H.B|
|LPS 66345||Las Gaitas de Simón: Enemigo Público N°1||Palacio/H.B|
|LPS 66363||Las Gaitas de Simón: Culpable?||Palacio/H.B|
|LPS 66384||Tonadas Vol.2||Palacio|
|LPS 66383||Las Gaitas de Simón: Cuñas, Locas, Borrachitos||Palacio/H.B|
|LPS 66406||Las Gaitas de Simón||Palacio/H.B|
|LPS 66407||Canciones Criollas Vol.3||Palacio|
|LPS 66430||Canciones y Tonadas Vol.4||Palacio|
|LPS 66479||Golpe y Pasaje: Caballo Viejo||Palacio|
|LPS 66483||Música Folklórica y Popular de Venezuela en Contrapunto||Palacio|
|LPS 66508||Tonadas Favoritas||Palacio|
|LPS 66591||Sus Grandes Éxitos||Palacio|
|LPS 2058||Amor Enguayabao||Palacio/Rodven|
|LPS 2067||Cuenta y Canta Vol.1||Palacio|
|LPS 2068||Cuenta y Canta Vol.2||Palacio|
Awards and recognition
Simón Díaz was awarded the highest recognition conferred by the Venezuelan state, "The Great Ribbon of the Liberator's Order". He was given honorary doctorate degrees by two major Venezuelan universities, Simón Rodríguez University and Zulia’s Universidad Católica Cecilio Acosta.
On September 30, 2008, the Latin Grammy Awards announced that it would honor Díaz with a Lifetime Achievement Award, (El Premio del Consejo Directivo). Diaz was awarded the 2008 Latin Recording Academy Trustees Award, presented by Venezuelan salsa singer Oscar D'León.
- Diaz, Simón. "Simón Díaz". Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- "Soundtracks for La flor de mi secreto (1995)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- "Simon Diaz". National Geographic Music. NationalGeographic.com. Retrieved 2009-10-24."His most celebrated songs include "Caballo Viejo", which became a smash hit in a crossover genre known as charanga vallenata, and "Bamboleo", recorded by the Gipsy Kings and Celia Cruz. His works have been performed and recorded by a who's whom of international music, from Plácido Domingo to Ivan Lins. Well into his 70s, Diaz maintains an active artistic life, and continues his performing and touring career with appearances throughout Latin America and the United States, including a slated performance in 2006 at Carnegie Hall."
- Graci, Carl; Lindsay, Matt (2005-09-12). "GWU Press Release". George Washington University (GWU Division of External Relations). Retrieved 2009-10-28.
- "El reportero (1968)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- "Isla de sal (1964)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- "Honorary Latin Grammy Award for Simón Díaz". Udenrigsministeriet. Retrieved 2009-10-24.[dead link]
- "Simon Diaz". The Daily Planet. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- "Simón Díaz". The Guide to Venezuelan Music. Sincopa. Retrieved 2009-10-27. Lists details on 56 of Diaz's albums
- "Simón Díaz". Last.fm. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- Caballo Viejo recorded by Conniff in his album, Fantástico! 1983 Brazilian release CBS-138578
- "Julio Iglesias Latinamente - Bamboleo". Sony Bmg/Columbia. 1989. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- "Ivan Lins - Simon Diaz". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
- "Simón Díaz". Gracias Simón. Latin World. 2002. Retrieved 2009-10-27.Joyce. Ivan Lins, Cheo Feliciano
- Steward, Sue. "Simn Diaz - Gracias". World Music journalist. Passion Music. Retrieved 2009-10-27. Joyce, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Cheo Feliciano, Luis Enrique, Danny Rivera, Ivan Lins, Joan Manuel Serrat
- "María Dolores Pradera / Habaneras de Cadiz / El becerrito". 1986 SERDISCO. Retrieved 2009-10-27.Pradera performs El becerrito, written by Simon Diaz
- CUBARTE, The Portal of Cuban Culture. 2009-10-06. link
- "Amar Amando". Tania Libertad. T.H. Rodven. Retrieved 2009-10-27.Libertad performs Caballo Viejo on her album Amar Amando
- "Simon Diaz". Global Rhythm. globalrhythm.net. Retrieved 2009-10-27.Celia Cruz, Plácido Domingo, Ry Cooder and the Gipsy Kings
- "Falleció el tío Simón de Venezuela — teleSUR" (in Spanish). Telesurtv.net. 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
- Finol, David (2009-07-29). "Doctorado Honoris Causa en Música al maestro Simón Díaz". El Nacional. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- "Artists to Receive the 2008 Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award". Latin Grammy. Latin Grammy.com. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- Simón Díaz at the Internet Movie Database
- Simón Díaz Discography (partial)
- (Spanish) Simón Díaz Biography —Venezuelan cuatro blog
- (Spanish) Learn to play his songs —El cuatro venezolano blog
- (English) Lets bring Simón Díaz to the 2009 Grammy—Facebook group
- (Spanish) Simón Díaz music
- (Spanish) Palabras para Simón - Lo afirmativo venezolano