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Simón Díaz
Simón Díaz en Boston.jpg
Simón Díaz in 2005
Background information
Birth name Simón Narciso Díaz Márquez
Born (1928-08-08)August 8, 1928
Barbacoas, Aragua, Venezuela
Died February 19, 2014(2014-02-19) (aged 85)
Caracas, Venezuela
Genres Venezuelan folk music
Occupations Musician, singer, composer
Years active 1948–2007

Simón Narciso Díaz Márquez (August 8, 1928 – February 19, 2014) was a Venezuelan singer and Grammy Award-winning composer of Venezuelan music.


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 composer & author (music & lyrics) of the song "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.

After battling Alzheimer's disease for many years, he died on 19 February 2014.


Serie Title Label Year
LP 6124 Parranda Criolla Palacio 1963
LP 6128 Lila + Hugo + Simón: Música de la Película "Isla de Sal" Palacio 1963
LP 6136 ¡Ya Llegó Simón! Palacio 1963
LP 6146 De Parranda con Simón Palacio 1964
LP 6154 Criollo y Sabroso Palacio 1965
LP 6181 Caracha Negro Palacio 1966
LP 6194 Gaitas y Parrandas con Simón Palacio 1967
LP 6221 Simón En Salsa... En Gaita Palacio 1968
LP 6253 Simón' 69 Palacio 1969
LP 6273 Artistas Venezolanos Solamente Palacio
LP 6275 Gaita 70 Palacio 1970
LP 6297 Simon 71 Palacio 1971
LPS 66299 Tonadas Palacio 1974
L.P.S. 109 Navidad Criolla con el Quinto Criollo Palacio/Guarura 1979
LPS 66333 La Gaita de las Cuñas: El Candidato Chévere ¡Vota por Él! Palacio/H.B 1973
LPS 66345 Las Gaitas de Simón: Enemigo Público N°1 Palacio/H.B 1974
LPS 66363 Las Gaitas de Simón: Culpable? Palacio/H.B 1975
LPS 66384 Tonadas Vol.2 Palacio 1976
LPS 66383 Las Gaitas de Simón: Cuñas, Locas, Borrachitos Palacio/H.B
LPS 66406 Las Gaitas de Simón Palacio/H.B 1977
LPS 66407 Canciones Criollas Vol.3 Palacio 1978
LPS 66430 Canciones y Tonadas Vol.4 Palacio 1978
LPS 66479 Golpe y Pasaje: Caballo Viejo Palacio 1980
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 1993
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.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Simón Díaz para niños

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