El León de la Salsa, EL Sonero del Mundo

Oscar D'leon, The Hardest Working Man in Show-bidness!!!

Born Oscar Emilio Leon Somoza, on July 11, 1943, Oscar D'León is one of the best salsa performers alive. Once a taxi driver in his native Caracas, Venezuela, Oscar began his musical career in 1972 with Dimensión Latina (in the picture on the right, he's the bad motha' in the center), singing alongside Wladimir Lozano. Two of his best songs from this period are :

In 1976 he broke away to begin his solo career. He is an amazing live performer, belting out 3+ hours of his best songs every night, back-to-back Ramones style, peppered with Beny More and Orquesta Aragón covers.

In New Orleans, at Jazzfest, I heard him sing a beautiful version of Beny More's bolero "Mucho Corazón", in fron of thousands of people. Here in Medellín he played a few years back at a beer festival for an audience of only a couple of hundred (it was badly publicized) and both of the shows were among the best I have seen IN MY LIFE. His biggest and best-loved hit is "Llorarás", which you can listen to here, along with a couple other favorites of mine:

There is a very complete biography and discography at DESCARGA.COM.

Happy birthday, Oscar!!

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