Pio Leyva, . Cuba
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Description Cultural themes: Pio Leyva, . Cuba
Pio Leyva composed some of Cuba's best known standards and is one of the island's most colorful personalities, known everywhere as 'El Montunero de Cuba.'
He won a bongo contest at the age of six and made his singing debut in 1932. With his deep, country voice, he has recorded over 25 albums since he signed his first contract with RCA Victor in 1950 and is known as one of the great improvisers. Pio has sung with the bands of great Benny More, Bebo Valdez and Noro Morales and for a time was a member of 'Compay Segundo y Sus Muchachos.'
In 1953, he was recording with Compay Segundo in Havana on the day of the revolutionary attack on the presidential palace. He swears the sound of gunshots can be heard on the album. In 1991, at the youthful age of 74, Pio undertook a highly successful four month tour of West Africa where he has a dedicated following.
Pio died March 2006 at the age of 88