Simón Díaz

Simón Díaz

BandFolk

Venezuela’s most beloved and renowned ambassador, 76-year strong Simón Díaz is a composer, singer, actor, artist and poet. He is a folk icon in South America. He has been recorded world-wide including by the Gipsy Kings, Julio Iglesias and Celia Cruz, among others.

Biography

Simón Díaz (1928- ). Celebrated singer and composer of Venezuelan music, whose work is regarded as one of the most important legacies for both Venezuelan and Latin American popular music. Simón Díaz is known foremost for his recovery of the songs of the Venezuelan plains. He was convinced that these were a unique music and he devoted himself to studying, composing and disseminating them. He succeeded in turning the songs of the Venezuelan plains into an authentic musical genre performed by such great artists as Argentina’s Mercedes Sosa, Brazil’s Caetano Veloso, Spain’s Joan Manuel Serrat, Puerto Rico’s Danny Rivera, and Venezuelans Franco De Vita, Soledad Bravo and José Luis Rodríguez, among others. Also, renowned conductors and composers of academic music have incorporated Simón Díaz’ songs in their orchestral and choral arrangements, thus signaling the universal nature of this musical genre.

Musicians are not the only ones who have felt attracted to Simón Díaz’ songs. Artists from various disciplines have been inspired by his work. For example, German choreographer Pina Bausch included some of Díaz’ songs in her work “Nur Du.” In addition, recognized film director Pedro Almodóvar included in his film soundtrack “La Flor de mi Secreto” Díaz’ song “Tonada de Luna Llena,” performed by Caetano Veloso.

Simón Díaz’ passion for songs and drama led him to theater, motion pictures and TV. In the 1960’s he became one of the biggest comedians in Venezuela and a symbol of the most genuine expressions of folklore and popular culture. He has had the leading role in 3 plays and 5 films; has produced and hosted 12 different high-ranking TV shows, all of them devised to promote Venezuelan music. One of these shows was devoted to teaching popular culture to children. This show was on the air for 10 years, and from this experience, Díaz became known as “Uncle Simón.” For 25 years, he had a daily radio show focussed on folklore and Venezuelan music. He has recorded over 70 records and CD’s and has made innumerable performances throughout his career. In 1998, he celebrated “50 Years of Artistic Life.”Simón Díaz has been granted the most important music awards. He was given the highest recognition conferred by the Venezuelan state –“Liberator’s Order; Great Cord,” becoming the only Venezuelan artist with such a distinction. He was given the honorary doctorate degree by two major Venezuelan universities –Simón Rodríguez University and Zulia’s Rafael Belloso Chacín University.

He has represented his country in France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Iraq, the United States, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Colombia.
Simón Díaz is known worldwide as the author of “Caballo Viejo” (also named “Bamboleo” –swinging.) His compositions have been performed by Plácido Domingo, Ray Conniff, Julio Iglesias, Celia Cruz, Rubén Blades, Gilberto Santarrosa, Gipsy Kings, Ivan Lins, Joyce, Cheo Feliciano, Juan Gabriel, Maria Dolores Pradera, Martirio, Tania Libertad, Ry Cooder.

Besides being an icon in Venezuela, Díaz is also one of the most popular and universal artists in Latin America. In thinking about the history of popular music in Venezuela and in Latin America, Díaz is both unique and an essential reference The prestigous latinamerican TV Channel A&E MUNDO has produced a documentary dedicated to Simón Díaz under its acclaimed “Biography” program which began to air on september 2004

Lyrics

Mercedes

Written By: Simón Díaz

Mercedes se está bañando
en las orillas del río
mis ojos la están mirando
pero es de un amigo mío
Yo no quisiera mirarla
pero no tengo la culpa
se parece a una esmeralda
con flores de chupa-chupa,
que yo le avise a mi amigo
muy difícil me resulta

Allá hay un caimán cebao
que mide más de una cuadra
con más cachos que un venao
y más dientes que veinte babas
Ella inocente de todo
se baña sin percatarse
que cuando llegue al recodo
el caimán puede acercarse
y yo solo en la barraca
y Mercedes sin fijarse

Me voy corriendo a la casa
pa’ que mi amigo lo sepa
le echaré una cantaleta
y le digo lo que pasa
que hay un inmenso peligro
que corre allí su mujer
que se lo dice un amigo
que algo tenemos que hacer
que valla pronto a salvarla
y de ñapa voy con él...

Cuando llegamos al pozo
la mujer no se veía
el caimán patas arriba
dormía de lo más sabroso

Le di el pésame en el acto
y abrazándolo le digo
- Eso pasa a cada rato,
que son cosas del destino
y que de aquí en adelante
que cuente con un amigo... (bis)

Mi Querencia

Written By: Simón Díaz

Lucero de la mañana,
prestame tu claridad
para alumbrarle los pasos
a mi amante que se va

Si pasas algun trabajo
lejos de mi soledad,
dile al lucero del alba
que te vuelva a regresar (bis)

I
Si mi querencia es el monte
y mi fuerza un cimarrón
como no quieres que cante (bis)
como canta un corazón.....

II
Si mi querencia es el monte
y una punta de ganao
como no quieres que sueñe (bis)
con el sol de los venados

III
Si mi querencia es el monte
y la flor de Araguaney
como no quieres que tenga (bis)
tantas ganas de volver

Lucero de la mañana
prestame tu claridad
para alumbrarle los pasos
a mi amante que se va…

Caballo Viejo

Written By: Simón Díaz

Cuando el amor
llega así
de esta manera
uno no se da ni cuenta
el carutal reverdece
el guamachito florece y la soga
se revienta (bis)Caballo le dan sabana
porque esta viejo
y cansao,
pero no se dan de cuenta
que un corazón amarrao,
cuando le sueltan las riendas
es caballo desbocao

Y si una potra alazana
caballo viejo se encuentra
el pecho se le desgrana
no le hace caso a falseta
y no le obedece a freno,
ni lo paran
falsas riendas

Cuando el amor
llega asi
de esta manera,
uno no tiene la culpa

Quererse no tiene horario, ni fecha
en el calendario
cuando las ganas
se juntan (bis)Caballo le dan sabana
y tiene el tiempo contao
y se va por la mañana
con su pasito apurao
a verse con su potranca
que lo tiene embarbascao

El potro da tiempo al tiempo
por que le sobra
la edad,
caballo viejo
no puede
perder la flor
que le dan,
porque después
de esta vida
no hay otra oportunidad.

Discography

Simón has released about 75 albums. His most influential works include, “Tonadas, vol. 1-5” and “Caballo Viejo”, which has been translated into twelve languages.

Set List

Simón’s typical show is 1.5 - 2 hours. 15 songs.

Typical Repertoire:

LA PENA DEL BECERRERO
SABANA
TONADA DE LUNA LLENA
TONADA DEL CABRESTERO
CALVELITO COLORADO
EL ALCARAVAN
AMOR ENGUAYABAO
MI QUERENCIA
CRISTAL
MERCEDES
EL BECERRITO
CABALLO VIEJO